A first-of-its-kind, utility scale solar project has been completed on an active Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. The 10.86-MW Maywood Solar Farm is located on 43 acres of the Reilly Tar and Chemical Superfund site in Indianapolis, Ind.
Superfund is the name given to the environmental program established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites. It is also the name of the fund established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended. The law was enacted following the discovery of toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Times Beach in the 1970s. It allows the EPA to clean up such sites and to compel responsible parties to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-led cleanups.
Hanwha Q CELLS—a German-based photovoltaic module manufacturer and developer—began construction on the project in July 2013 and completed work in March of this year. The site utilizes polycrystalline modules engineered by the company in Germany. According to the company, the venture used conventional solar project financing with no additional federal, state, local, or corporate incentives.
“This innovative solar project demonstrates that Superfund sites can be redeveloped—to generate economic benefits for the local community and clean renewable energy for homes and businesses,” said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. “U.S. EPA is proud to have played a role in the Maywood Solar Farm project, which has transformed a site with a long history of contamination into a source of renewable energy for the future.”
The solar farm was completed under the 2012 Indianapolis Power and Light Rate [Renewable Energy Production] program and is expected to operate for up to 30 years.
—Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)