For Immediate Release
Illinois EPA Authorizes Use of Closed Landfill for Solar Project
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois EPA Director Alec Messina announced the issuance of a supplemental permit allowing for the installation and operation of a 2.43 megawatt ground mounted community solar array system atop Zion Municipal Landfill 2, a closed municipal solid waste landfill. This is the first permit of its kind to be issued by Illinois EPA.
The permit allows for necessary modifications to be made at Zion Municipal Landfill 2, which ceased waste disposal prior to June 1980. The landfill was certified closed by the Illinois EPA in 2008 and is nearing completion of its post closure care period. The project will cover approximately 10 acres of land.
“The re-use of a closed landfill for the development of clean, renewable energy is a win-win for Illinois residents,” said Director Messina. “It’s exciting to be a part of the repurposing of an old brownfield in an environmentally responsible, innovative fashion.”
The Illinois EPA expects interest in solar power projects atop landfills to grow as the Illinois Power Agency implements the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) signed into law by Governor Rauner in 2016. One of the goals of FEJA is to incentivize development of solar power on Brownfields properties, returning the properties to productive use and helping Illinois reach its renewable energy goals.
The site remains subject to the post closure and reporting requirements for Solid Waste Facilities outlined in existing regulations. The supplemental permit also contains special conditions to ensure environmental laws are followed.