WHY SOLAR FARMS ON LANDFILL SITES ARE A WIN-WIN
Ground-mount solar panels on a former landfill
7.5 MW system that’s part of a national 70MW project
All power generated is sold to the grid
Olympus Power has an installation solution that allows the use of solar panels at decommissioned landfill sites. Ground mounted ‘solar farms’ can generate clean energy from the otherwise unusable land. In Warwickshire, we were commissioned by Veolia to install a ground-mounted solar farm at their Ling Hall site.
We found solutions to all the challenges of the site that went live in May 2021. With all of the solar power generated exported to the National Grid, it both creates income for responsible management of the site and contributes to Veolia’s aim of a carbon neutral future.
Simon Nicholls, Managing Director of Olympus Power explained: “There has been some political discourse about where is appropriate for ground-mounted solar panels, and brownfield land that can’t be used productively for other purposes is a perfect solution. Veolia and other waste management companies have seen the advantage of using decommissioned landfill sites for solar power generation and Olympus Power is very pleased to have developed a solution for them, where we have installed the latest generation of solar modules without affecting the ongoing management of the site.”
Landfill sites are well-suited to solar installation – they are brownfield land, are often unshaded and have a substantial grid connection, making it even cheaper to connect and export power.
Landfill sites also come with significant challenges, as they are covered with an impermeable membrane to stop gas and water escaping from the buried waste. Olympus Power has developed an alternative means of anchoring the solar panels to the ground without piercing the membrane.
The impermeable nature of the membrane means that water doesn’t drain through it, so fittings sometimes need to be installed in deep standing water which makes installation more difficult. Avoiding the subterranean network of pipes and cables that run under the ground to manage the site adds another layer of complexity.
Veolia say “To gain the best advantage from the use of the land Veolia have selected the restored landfill areas with south facing slopes, and a sufficiently large electrical export connection or ability to connect to the site. This will enable optimum generation, give a new use to the land, and marks another significant step towards achieving a net zero carbon future.The Ling Hall landfill site now generates up to 12MW of clean solar power via 13,200 panels, all exported to the national grid and generating income that contributes to their landfill restoration programme. More about the Veolia landfill restoration programme