Helios Solar and Renusol America have announced that a 100 year-old community waste landfill in Eaton Rapids has been redeveloped as Michigan’s first brownfield location to generate renewable energy. Closed and ‘capped’ 20 years ago and unused since then, the landfill is now the site of a 535.5kW solar system with 2100 PV panels.
Helios Solar, the project engineer and installer, and Renusol America, a solar mounting system manufacturer, joined forces in engineering the system to maintain the integrity of the sealed landfill and maximize power output.
“From an engineering perspective, a system like this had never been done before,” noted Helios CEO, Connor Field. “Not only was a low profile, ballasted non-penetrating mounting system required for the panels, but the ‘cap’ covering the landfill is curved for drainage and not flat as is the case for typical solar installations. Our challenge was to optimize panel placement on an uneven surface to make the project economically feasible.”
Helios selected Renusol America’s CS60 one-piece-per-panel ballasted mounting system, which is designed to handle grade variations on uneven surfaces. “Most flat roof mounting systems only work on absolutely flat roofs,” added Field. “The Renusol CS60 system can adapt to grade changes and non-linear configurations, so we were able to increase the number of panels in the array configuration and maximize power output for the entire project.”
Eaton Rapids Solar LLC will own and operate the facility, which is expected to generate 658 MWh of solar generated electricity annually for the City Eaton Rapids Electrical Utility. The lower cost power will be purchased by The City of Eaton Rapids and distributed to residential and commercial ratepayers in the community. The project is also expected to generate enough power to meet one-third of the community’s renewable energy requirements under the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) regulations.