TRC

Solar Farm Permit and Design

In August 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued the first-ever Landfill Post Closure Use Permit for a solar facility in Massachusetts, paving the way for construction and installation of a 2 MW photovoltaic array on a closed landfill in the town of Greenfield.

Industries

Client

Axio Power

Project Location

Greenfield, MA

Awards & Recognition

2010 Environmental Business Journal Business Achievement Award

To support Axio Power’s Greenfield Solar Project, TRC led the environmental permitting efforts to secure the first-ever Landfill Post Closure Use Permit for a solar farm in Massachusetts. TRC worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to obtain approval to construct a 2 MW photovoltaic (PV) array on the former Wisdom Way Landfill, on the southwest side of Greenfield, that had been capped and closed in the 1990s. TRC also provided PV designs and detailed electrical and civil construction drawings for the project’s 8,918 photovoltaic panels across 13 acres, thus covering most of the top of the landfill. TRC consulted on PV installation during construction. The project became operational in June, 2012.

Because this was the first application submitted to MassDEP to permit a closed landfill for use as a solar farm, TRC developed from scratch, practical, cost-effective designs, installation specifications, technical approaches, and procedures to safeguard the integrity of the landfill cap. Construction design solutions included temporary access roads and precast concrete foundation placement. A full electrical design including DC collector field layout and equipment specification and optimization, as well as AC low voltage and medium voltage design and equipment specification that included interconnection requirements. Construction logistics included prevention of grade stake or other markings that could damage the landfill liner, segmented work implementation, and full time construction oversight and monitoring to protect the landfill cap. In addition, an innovative grounding solutions for low voltage and medium voltage circuits was developed. Site installation that utilized only hand tools, mini-excavator equipment, and low-ground pressure equipment were used to minimize impacts to the landfill liner.

In August 2010, the MassDEP issued approval to construct and operate the photovoltaic system using TRC’s design that ensures the protection and the integrity of the landfill.

In the first year of operation alone, the town saved approximately $250,000 in energy costs

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