In its Re-Powering America Initiative, the US EPA is encouraging the development of renewable energy on current and previously contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites “when it is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.” The type of sites assessed include: Superfund, RCRA Corrective Action, Abandoned Mine Land,
Landfills, and Brownfield sites that have received EPA funding.
The Re-Powering Mapper uses Google Earth to allow users to investigate over 66,000 contaminated sites that have been assessed for renewable energy potential. Sites have been evaluated for their biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind potential. Users can interact with the map by clicking on a site to learn more about its renewable energy potential. Your students can select a site near their city/town and assess its renewable energy potential, critique available options and propose a renewable energy plan for the site.
In addition, there are Re-Powering Mapper Facts Sheets summarizing the renewable energy potential that exists for each of the following technologies: Biomass, Geothermal, Solar, and Wind. Each fact sheet includes examples of renewable energy facilities being successfully sited on contaminated land.