Solar covered landfill
Republic Services, Inc. has covered portions of its Tessman Road Landfill in San Antonio, TX with 1000 flexible, laminate-type photovoltaic (PV) solar collection strips that are configured to maximize the hours of sunlight exposure throughout the year, based on the landfill’s design and site contours.
The flexible solar laminates, which capture the sun’s rays for conversion into electricity, are adhered directly to a Firestone manufactured synthetic green-colored geomembrane used to cover and close a landfill as it reaches capacity. Unlike the more traditional rigid solar panels, which are bulky and frequently cost-prohibitive to install, Republic’s system uses flexible nonreflective collection strips less than 1/4 inch thick.
The energy produced by the strips, combined with the landfill’s existing biogas harvest, is estimated to total about nine megawatts of power – enough to power 5,500 area homes. The Tessman Road installation is just 5.6 acres of the 680-acre landfill, but Republic is looking to expand the practice to its other landfills as well.