Drew Lent, a solar development expert with Tetra Tech, actively works on and advocates for sustainable energy solutions in the solid waste industry. In this post, he shares his appeal to industry leaders for implementing solar infrastructure on closed landfills at WASTECON 2019.
At WASTECON my colleagues and I share with waste industry leaders how Tetra Tech is Leading with Science® in solid waste management. My presentation “Phoenix Rising: Solar Development on Landfills” allowed me to showcase our work providing innovative energy solutions in the solid waste sector.
My scheduled catalyst presentation at the WASTECON exhibition floor allowed me to share how landfills and brownfields can produce financial and environmental benefits. Equally important, I urged those interested in solar power to plan the installation accordingly—from initial communication with stakeholders to reaching out to the local municipality.
Landfill owners can realize multiple benefits from solar development including financial savings from beneficial redevelopment of property and offsetting existing environmental costs.
Additionally, I highlighted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s support of efforts to use landfills for renewable energy projects and resources available to help. More than 300 solar facilities have been constructed on landfills and brownfields, with many more landfills available for solar development.
Tetra Tech’s exchange with industry leaders at WASTECON 2019 received the attention of Waste Dive, a waste and recycling publication and website. Their article highlights my argument for solar power on capped landfills.
Continuing our work to provide sustainable energy solutions in the solid waste sector will help the industry become more sustainable. We look forward to sharing more innovative solid waste solutions here on our blog and at WASTECON 2020.
About the Author
Drew is a professional geologist and the Northeast Solar Services lead for Tetra Tech. Prior to working at Tetra Tech, Drew was a geologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Solid Waste Program for 12 years (1992 – 2005). Mr. Lent at the NYSDEC helped close several solid waste landfills without any planned long-term use other than open space. Drew started working on solar projects in 2014 with the goal of improving our environment one solar project at a time, especially renewable energy (solar) projects on under-utilized landfills and brownfields.