New EPA Tool Estimates Potential for Renewable Energy on Kentucky’s Contaminated Land

The Environmental Protection Agency says there’s significant potential for renewable energy projects on contaminated land in Kentucky.

The EPA released mapping tools today as part of the agency’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative. It’s pretty cool–and eye-opening. According to the EPA, sites like the Lees Lane Landfill, Fort Knox, General Electric’s Appliance Park and the Bluegrass Army Depot have potential for large-scale photovoltaic solar installations. There are a handful of sites with utility-scale wind potential, and numerous opportunities for landfill gas energy and biopower.

From the EPA’s news release:

“We see responsible renewable energy development on contaminated lands and landfills as a win-win-win for the nation, local communities, and the environment,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “In President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the administration set a goal to double renewable electricity generation by 2020. By identifying the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites across the country, these screening results are a good step toward meeting national renewable energy goals in order to address climate change, while also cleaning up and revitalizing contaminated lands in our communities.”

What would Kentucky look like with renewable energy generation on all of the state’s brownfield sites?

You can download the file that contains Kentucky’s data here, and open it up with Google Earth.

Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.

@ericampeterson

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