Vermont city pursues approval of small solar project on shut landfill

The Vermont Public Service Board is taking comment until May 18 on a March 23 application from the City of South Burlington to install and operate a 1.55-MW (ac) solar facility on a capped and closed landfill owned by the city and located at 1009 Airport Parkway in South Burlington, Vermont.

Derek Moretz, the Vice President of Development at Encore Renewable Energy, provided some of the application testimony. Encore is a leading integrated clean energy project development company with a focus on commercial, industrial, and community-scale solar PV systems for Vermont towns, schools, businesses and landowners. Encore was retained by the City of South Burlington to provide development and project management services for the project.

The city proposes to install and operate a fixed-tilt ballasted solar array occupying approximately 8 acres across the city’s capped and closed landfill. The project’s nameplate capacity is 1.55 MW (ac), which is expected to produce approximately 2,650,000 kWh per year.

The city will utilize net metering credits generated by the solar array to offset electrical costs from its largest accounts located throughout South Burlington, as well as allocate a portion of the production to the South Burlington School District, Moretz noted.

The landfill was closed in 1992 and capped with approximately 3 feet of clay material to minimize infiltration of stormwater to the waste material. Due to the property being a closed landfill, the project area is not used today and has limited potential for other forms of development. The project site is surrounded by: the city’s wastewater treatment facility to the north; the Burlington International Airport to the east; the Chittenden County waste transfer station and bus depot, along with the city’s public works facilities to the south; and Interstate 89 to the west.