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Published on September 29th, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst

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EPA's New Google Earth Mash-Up of Renewable Energy Resources on Contaminated Lands

September 29th, 2008 by  


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Google Earth-based interactive website that pinpoints opportunities for solar, wind or biomass siting on contaminated properties. The site combines the Google Earth platform with an EPA database that lists each property’s attributes for renewable energy development.

According to the EPA, many lands tracked by the agency, such as large Superfund sites, and mining sites offer thousands of acres of land, and may be situated in areas where the presence of wind and solar structures are less likely to be met with aesthetic, and therefore political, opposition.

Many EPA tracked lands are in areas where traditional redevelopment may not be an option because the site may be remote, or have difficult environmental conditions that are not well suited for traditional redevelopment such as residential or commercial.

These EPA tracked lands also have key infrastructure already in place. Existing electric transmission lines and capacity, as well as roads, criss-cross many of the landscapes.  In addition, most of the areas are adequately zoned for such development.

There are approximately 480,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties across the United States that are tracked by EPA.

Maps for these six types of energy, as well as non-grid connected wind and photovoltaic solar energy, for the entire nation are also available:

* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Wind Energy Generation Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Community Wind Energy Generation Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Energy Generation Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy Generation Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Biopower Facility Siting Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Biorefinery Facility Siting Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Non-Grid Connected Wind Energy Generation Potential

* EPA Tracked Sites with Non-Grid Connected Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy Generation Potential

Other posts on the EPA at Green Options:

EPA Drafts Rule for Carbon Sequestration

EPA to Give Factory Farms a Free Pass on Emissions

Why Is the EPA Reaching Out? : Red, Green, and Blue


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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.



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