Former landfill to become largest US urban solar project
Developers will build the 50 MW Sunnyside solar project on a former landfill site just outside of downtown Houston.
A long-abandoned landfill site, located 8 miles south of downtown Houston, will soon become the largest urban solar farm in the United States.
The 240-acre plot of land, located in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood, has been approved for lease to a Wolfe Energy subsidiary by Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council. Each acre will be leased for $1.00/year.
The Sunnyside Solar Project will feature 50 MW of capacity once it reaches operation, which is currently anticipated for the end of 2022. Turner’s office has indicated that a portion of the project will be set aside to serve as a community solar installation, although it is not clear how much capacity will be dedicated to community solar.
The city of Houston is also touting Sunnyside as the nation’s largest brownfield solar installation. “Brownfield” refers to projects developed on environmentally contaminated land. Because of this contamination, the project’s developers, Sunnyside Energy LLC, will be required to complete site remediation before construction can begin.
Sunnyside Energy is a partnership among EDF Renewables, MP2 Energy, and Wolfe Energy. The companies will supply electricity to the Houston-area power grid through MP2 Energy and CenterPoint, meaning that the solar-generated power would be distributed across the metropolitan region.
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