Central New York's Madison County has gained national recognition for being the first municipality to employ solar panels on a capped landfill cell. Traditionally unused space, the county saw an acre of southern-sloping, freshly capped landfill as an ideal opportunity to harvest energy.
The solar array is not the first sustainability effort taken by the Madison County Landfill; for more than a year, methane gas has been harvested from capped cells. With an estimated 40,000 kWhs of power coming from the solar array, the landfill's recycling center will be completely energy self-sufficient. NYSERDA provided Madison County with $380,000 for the project, offsetting the total cost to $470,000.
The only two similar projects in the nation are located on privately owned landfills in Georgia and Texas. Having a much colder climate, Madison County's landfill will serve as an experiment for the installer, Carlisle Energy Services.
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