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Title: Solar Development on Contaminated and Disturbed Lands

Land classified as contaminated and disturbed across the United States has the potential to host developments of utility-scale solar power. This report examines the prospect of developing utility- and commercial-scale concentrated solar power (CSP) and solar photovoltaics (PV) technologies on degraded and environmentally contaminated lands. The potential for solar development on contaminated anddisturbed lands was assessed, and for the largest and highest solar resource sites, the economic impacts and feasibility were evaluated. Developing solar power on contaminated and disturbed lands can help create jobs and revitalize local and state economies, and selecting these sites over greenfield sites can potentially have permitting and environmental mitigation advantages. The U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot goals call for 632 GW of PV and 83 GW of CSP to be deployed by 2050. Conservative land-use estimates of this study (10 acres per megawatt) show that there are disturbed and environmentally contaminated lands throughout the country that could be suitable for utility-scale solar power, and, that there is sufficient land area to meet SunShot solar deployment goals. The purpose of this assessment is to improve the understanding of these sites and facilitate solar developers' selection of contaminated and disturbed sites for development.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY solar; PV; CSP; contaminated lands; disturbed lands; land use