In The News03.18.2024

Lee Hoffman Interviewed on Siting Solar Projects on Landfills and Other Brownfield Properties

Hartford Business Journal

Pullman & Comley Energy and Environmental Attorney Lee D. Hoffman was quoted in a recent Hartford Business Journal article about the trend toward developing solar projects on landfill and other brownfield sites.

Enhanced federal tax credits along with state incentives are making these projects, which offer the environmental benefits of reducing carbon emissions and reclaiming capped landfills for sustainable energy production, financially viable. Because building solar installations on landfills is technically complex and costly due to the need to protect the landfill cap, incentive programs like the federal Investment Tax Credit and state programs such as Connecticut's Non-Residential Solar Renewable Energy Solutions (NRES) offer financial benefits to offset the costs. These initiatives aim to achieve zero-carbon energy goals while repurposing landfills and mitigating energy sprawl.

Lee, who has been involved in six major landfill solar deals in Connecticut, said that while in the past, the main consideration for siting solar projects was proximity to a substation, over the years, the state has begun to consider other siting issues.

“Solar uses a fair amount of land on a per-megawatt basis,” he said. “It takes far less land to burn fossil fuels than it does to run a solar project. However, there are no emissions coming from a solar project. So, in some ways, you’re trading land for zero-carbon effects.”

Landfill siting is an excellent use of land, Lee noted.  “And since we’re concerned about land use in Connecticut, we don’t want to have projects that are going to adversely impact the spaces that we want to keep open,” such as forest and farmland that could be productive for other uses.

To read the full article, please visit the Hartford Business Journal website.



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