Amesbury, Massachusetts wins big as they repurpose another landfill as a solar farm

On June 6, 2017 Amesbury, Massachusetts issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) on the Brownfield Listings website to advertise the reboot of a project to repurpose a closed landfill to produce solar power (a revitalization strategy often referred to as “brightfields”).

Amesbury had already successfully developed a solar facility on a different landfill–a 6-megawatt Citizens Energy project–and it sought to increase the benefits from renewable solar power.

In late 2014, the city began considering the Titcomb Pit landfill–a former Waste Management landfill now closed, capped and sealed– for solar development instead of the soccer fields it originally planned in 2012. There’s a rather small universe of end uses suitable for atop a capped landfill, and soccer fields are a good option. But solar is much more productive than a recreational use.

The second RFP was a huge success. Almost 40 companies expressed interest in the project, according to the city’s Energy and Environmental Affairs Director Thomas Barrasso. “This has been an exciting project to run. It’s been great to see the level of interest. We have actually had calls from as far away as Naples, Italy. People still want to do projects on landfills, especially those owned by municipalities. So we are in a good position,” he enthused.

And, after narrowing the proposals down to a final three, Amesbury awarded the Boston-based company Kearsarge Energy the right to build a 4.5-megawatt solar array on the Titcomb Pit landfill.

Photo credit: City of Amesbury.

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