A new company has been formed to create “brightfields”: closed landfills & brownfield sites that are repurposed as solar farms

On November 25, 2019 a new company, Watershed Solar Development, was formed to provide innovative landfill and brownfield solar energy solutions integrated with ClosureTurf®, a patented engineered geosynthetic turf closure system owned by Watershed Geo.

ClosureTurf has recently been adopted by the EPA to close Superfund sites, has solved long-plaguing issues to conventional landfill and brownfield closure designs. It can also be a good foundation for solar energy systems, as it eliminates vegetative maintenance, erosion, and associated risks and costs.

ClosureTurf is installed at over 80 sites totaling approximately 2,000 acres, safely and effectively reducing the environmental impact of landfills and brownfields across the United States. Several of these installations have experienced significant and historic weather events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and snowstorms.

After many years of geotechnical evaluation, wind tunnel testing, and long-term field demonstrations performed in extreme weather conditions, we are thrilled with this partnership that pulls together industry expertise to execute on this unprecedented way to convert land from financial liabilities to long-term reliable assets,” said Mike Ayers, CEO of Watershed Geo.

ClosureTurf was recently selected as the 250-acre landfill closure method at the Mississippi Phosphates Corporation EPA Superfund site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which is surrounded by pristine and federally protected estuaries.

Watershed Solar Development is licensed and authorized nationwide by Watershed Geosynthetics to develop and install solar energy systems on ClosureTurf.

Watershed Solar Development is also licensed and authorized nationwide by Watershed Solar to market and install PowerCap®. PowerCap is a patent-pending solar technology, marketed and supported by Watershed Geosynthetics, that optimizes solar design and maximizes project economics in the following ways:

  • Provides a geotechnically engineered and tested, highly stabilized solar energy system;
  • Features a direct attachment method to ClosureTurf with no penetrations;
  • Achieves industry-best power density per unit area and for the entire site;
  • Enables installation on landfill slopes up to 2:1;
  • Includes a 40-year performance warranty; and
  • Makes ClosureTurf eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit in some instances.

The company prioritizes a “Do No Harm” strategy to ensure the long-term integrity and performance of ClosureTurf. Watershed Solar Development integrates ClosureTurf and solar maintenance to enhance financial benefit, quality assurance, and risk management to customers.

Watershed Solar Development is positioned for success, with a pipeline of MSW, industrial landfill and brownfield projects approaching 125 megawatts in total.

Watershed Solar Development’s first project began development in late 2019 at the 22-acre Cranston, Rhode Island, Sanitary Landfill. The 3.5-megawatt community solar project will provide electric bill savings to Rhode Island homeowners.

We have seen firsthand how ClosureTurf provides economic and environmental value to customers and communities. We aim to build on that by delivering additional revenue, savings, and clean energy. Our approach is to leverage ClosureTurf’s unique characteristics to improve the closure and solar bottom line for the benefit of all stakeholders,” says Greg Lucini CEO of ISM Solar Development.

About Watershed Geo & Watershed Solar


Watershed Geo is an environmental solutions company offering a broad range of products for landfill management and erosion control.

Watershed Geo products help deliver improved performance and reduced environmental impact while limiting the long-term costs associated with landfill management and revetment projects.

Watershed Solar invented, developed and owns the PowerCap technology for use on engineered geosynthetic turf systems for the MSW, Industrial and Utilities markets. PowerCap is marketed and supported by Watershed Geosynthetics. Both companies are based in Alpharetta, Georgia.

PowerCap information can be found on the web at PowerCap.

About ISM Solar Development

ISM Solar Development builds solar energy systems that deliver clean energy savings to communities and public and private users throughout the country. Its mission is to Bring Land to Light – repurposing underutilized and compromised space, including landfills and brownfields, in pursuit of a sustainable energy economy.

ISM Solar Development is a division of the ISM Group. Since 1987, the ISM Group has been in electronics manufacturing, including power supplies, battery backup systems, magnetics, printed circuit boards, assemblies, and lighting. The ISM Group has offices in the U.S., U.K., India, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and manages operations in other locations around the world. The ISM Group and ISM Solar Development are headquartered in East Providence, Rhode Island.

See ISM Solar Development website.

See Watershed Geo website.

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