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India should follow the example from West – Turn wasteland into Golden Solar Farms

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Turn Waste lands into Solar Farms!

Acres of land lie waste in India, where municipal waste is dumped. This land cannot be used for any residential or commercial purposes. Around 9.5 acres of closed landfills have been put to use by building a 2 MW PV plant in Rutland, Vermont. A lot of cities in the west are doing the same and turning these waste lands into valuable source of generating revenues. Borrego Solar, a PV financing and contracting company is emerging as a big name in this area. It has helped Massachusetts in taking up this challenge. Borrego Solar is also working with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), to introduce some incentives for putting up solar system/ farms on these landfills.

“Putting a solar energy generating system on land that couldn’t be used for anything else and that will save the municipality millions of dollars over the terms of the PPA is a win-win situation” told Amy McDonough, senior project developer for Borrego Solar.

Source: Renewable Energy World

Why using Wastelands/ landfills can be advantageous

These lands are contaminated and hence cannot be used for any residential and commercial purposes. But by installing PV plants on them, these can be turned very resourceful. Moreover, not much free green pastures are available for installing solar farms and these waste lands can be thus effectively be put to use. The community will also be happy as it will not raise much environmental issues.

Challenges in converting these landfills into solar farms

The landfill needs to be capped. This process entails putting a barrier on the land to save the community and the environment. After that the land needs to be filled with sand and then properly vegetated. The barrier should not be penetrated. So in addition to the two ballast system, that a solar array rack requires a third one needs to be installed too. Thus adding up to the costs. It is estimated that about 25 cents per watt will be added to the total price of the system.

Compare and look at the difference between the two images below:








New Jersey has also thought of joining the trend and has approved to turn 800 such closed landfills into solar farms. India is a largely power deficit country, with major power issues. Rather than constructing buildings, India should think constructively to use such waste lands and turn them into solar farms to generate more electricity and cut energy costs. It will be better for the Indian masses at large, to enjoy less power cuts rather than dwelling in the high rises. I think India should also learn and follow the same trend and turn acres of waste land it has, into useful source of energy rather than a concrete jungle!


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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