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Solar Array for Grand Rapids, Michigan Superfund Site?!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a grant to the City of Grand Rapids to do a feasibility study for a solar array at a former superfund site. The Butterworth Landfill was an unlined, 60 acre landfill operated by the city until 1973. It has now been investigated, closed, and capped to prevent the migration of any pollution. Therefore the solar structure would need to avoid penetrating the cap. The study with evaluate the idea and calculate the energy production potential of the site. In 2012 the city installed a 122 kw solar array at its water system offices. Grand Rapids has been recognized by the US Chamber of Commerce as the most sustainable mid-size community in the US and was recently recognized with the Climate Protection Award for its greenhouse gas emission efforts by the US Conference of Mayors. ayor Heartwell, Grand Rapids City Mayor has said, “Putting solar panels on the top of a city building is a nice thing to do. But if we’re going to achieve that large goal (of 100 percent renewable energy), then we’re going to have to be involved in production of electrical power.”

© 2017 Varnum LLP


About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Varnum, Environmental Construction Attorney, Electric Power Negotiations Lawyer

Bruce Goodman practices energy law, environmental law, and construction law. His environmental expertise includes air quality permitting work, compliance counseling on air emissions, state and federal enforcement defense issues, and environmental management program development. His energy expertise includes negotiating numerous electric power sales agreements (both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy) state electric rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project structuring and permitting. He regularly posts to his blog...