Solar Energy on Landfills

Key Considerations for Developing Solar Energy on Landfills | SCS Engineers Free, Open Forum

March 24, 2022

Watch Considerations for Developing Solar Energy on Landfills – Now On-Demand



Recorded on Thursday, March 24, 2022
1 hour including Q&A

Landfill owners and municipalities are increasingly finding ways to repurpose capped and closed landfills. Using solar arrays on landfills is one fast-growing option that provides renewable energy and meets the approval of residents, city councils, and state environmental regulatory agencies alike.

Landfills hosting solar energy are increasing because the combination of Federal Investment Tax Credits (before January 1, 2026) and the sale of electric power with solar panels can convert sites from a sink for expenses into a source of revenue fostering community pride. But, as we know, every landfill is unique.

Using an open forum with plenty of time for Q&A throughout, Mark Huber and Kevin Yard take us through the feasibility process to meet the target cost, timeline, and levelized cost of energy given the different transitions and parties involved in the process.

Their use of case studies helps put the technical considerations and feasibility of landfill solar into context while covering these topics:

  • Trends of Solar Energy in the U.S.
  • Benefits/Challenges of Solar on Closed Landfills
  • Siting Solar on Landfills
  • Solar Feasibility Study: Case Study
  • Key Steps in Implementing Solar Projects on Landfills
  • Alternatives for Developing Solar Projects
  • Permitting Solar on Landfills
  • Landfill Engineering Considerations

Mark Huber has 30 years of civil and environmental engineering experience on landfills and electric utilities. He specializes in urban redevelopment projects with technical expertise in solar energy installations, brownfield redevelopment, civil site design, and stormwater management.

Kevin Yard has over 30 years of engineering experience encompassing various aspects of solar on landfills, landfill closure and post-closure, feasibility studies, permitting and conceptual designs, construction plans, and specifications, and operations consulting.


This educational, non-commercial webinar with a Q&A forum throughout is free and open to all who want to learn if renewable energy on local landfills is an option to consider. We recommend this month’s discussion for landfill owners, real estate developers, electric utilities, environmental engineers, agency staff, and municipal personnel interested in finding renewable energy options for closed landfills.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:00 pm

WIRMC – Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference 2022, Green Bay

February 23, 2022

SCS Engineers is again a Silver Sponsor of the 2022 Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference (WIRMC) to be held February 23-25, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Green Bay.

The conference will feature workshops and numerous sessions on sustainability and resource management practices, including the following by SCS professionals:

Chris Jimieson will co-present on “Reducing Contamination and Increasing Participation Through Community Education” (Track Session IV, Friday, 9:00 am)

Tony Kriel and Mark Huber will discuss “Solar on Landfills” (Track Session V, Friday, 10:30 am). Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the U.S. and worldwide. With rapidly declining solar panel costs, private sector interest, and public sector incentives, the search for potential solar development sites grows every year. More and more often, closed landfills are under consideration for utility-scale solar energy facilities. In their presentation, Tony and Mark will discuss evaluating landfills for solar development potential and present a case study on one of Wisconsin’s largest solar development projects located on a landfill.

This statewide conference is jointly hosted by the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW), the SWANA Badger Chapter, Wisconsin Counties Solid Waste Management Association (WCSWMA), and is coordinated by Recycling Connections.

The conference will also include a field trip to two state-of-the-art paper mills reclaiming recycling fibers and producing new products, networking opportunities, and an exhibitors hall in addition to the technical tracks.

Click for more details and registration information



Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Illinois Energy Transition Act

October 4, 2021

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting
SCS Engineers uses specialized teams for solar implementation on landfills and Brownfields, remediation due diligence and restoration, and biogas and agricultural feedstocks for clean energy.


On September 15, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2408, forming the Illinois Energy Transition Act.  The Act advances renewable energy goals and the path to carbon-free electricity generation by 2045. To say this bill will impact the Illinois electrical utility landscape is an understatement.

Illinois is a top energy producer and consumer in the upper Midwest. The Act requires displacement of more than 6,000 MWh provided from coal and natural gas. One average MWh is enough to power 796 homes for a year in the U.S.

Energy efficiencies and implementing alternative energy resources will be an increasingly important strategy to mitigate the cost impacts from this Act to all users: residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal.

SCS supports clients with the decommissioning and legacy management of coal-fired facilities and renewable energy development. Our environmental team in Illinois includes local experts, Scott Knoepke and Richard Southorn who support the management of coal-fired facilities with Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) and assist utilities transitioning to renewable natural gas installments and solar energy sources. For coal-fired facilities with CCR impoundments, SCS’s Illinois Office provides design, closure, construction quality assurance, and site stewardship (e.g., long-term maintenance, groundwater monitoring, and reporting).

SCS uses a specialized team for solar implementation on landfills and Brownfields. Knoepke and Southorn are supported by SCS National Experts in the region to assess and implement Solar Energy on Landfills & Brownfields.

The Act defines that landfill gas produced in Illinois as a renewable energy resource. SCS Engineers has one of the longest and most successful Biogas practices in the United States. SCS designs, constructs, and operates more Biogas, Anaerobic Digestion, Renewable Natural Gas, Ag Digester systems than any other engineering firm in the nation. Our clients attribute our quality and high production rates to our practice specializing in waste gas utilization, combined with our expertise in solid waste management and compliance.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Clean Energy: Will Your Next Utility-Scale Solar Power Project Be on a Landfill?

February 14, 2020

Have you considered a landfill for your next utility-scale solar power development project? Increasing renewable energy standards, along with decreasing land availability, are making closed landfills an attractive option for utility companies that want to develop clean energy projects. But how do you know if a landfill is suitable for solar development?

Consider these factors when evaluating a landfill’s potential to support utility-scale solar power projects:

Waste Stability
A ground surface that settles differentially is not suitable for a solar project, and typical municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills can see significant settlement as waste degrades, especially right after closure. Older landfills typically have less settlement, making them a better choice for a solar installation. Industrial waste or coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills may not be as prone to settlement issues as MSW landfills and can be more suitable for solar installation immediately after closure.

Landfill Cap
Landfill caps are designed to keep the waste in and liquids out, and typical caps are not designed to account for the solar panels, electrical conduits, and foundations associated with a solar power project. But with a few modifications to the solar design, the typical landfill cap can accommodate the infrastructure of a solar power project. You can replace a traditional post-driven foundation with an at-grade ballast foundation and run electrical conduits underground within the soil zone above the landfill’s geomembrane liner, or at-grade.

Landfills are typically closed with around 4:1 (25%) final slopes.  However, some landfill owners are designing their final cap grades with alternative end uses in mind, with flatter slopes that will facilitate future development.  These proactive landfill owners can help you maximize the number of panels and subsequently the revenue stream from your solar power project.

Like all power generation projects, you need a suitable interconnection point to connect the generated power to the electrical grid. CCR landfills are often positioned near existing power plants, and therefore near the infrastructure necessary for a suitable interconnection point. MSW or industrial landfills may be located in rural areas where interconnection is more challenging.

Regulatory Requirements
State and local regulators may still be catching up to the idea of putting solar power projects on landfills. The projects bring together a unique mix of solid waste, zoning, electrical, and other regulatory requirements and approvals. Be aware of the regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction and, if in doubt, reach out to your local regulator.

More and more landfills are being developed with solar power projects in mind, and you may be increasingly looking at alternative spaces for your next project. Will your next solar development be on a landfill? Contact SCS Engineers to evaluate a landfill’s solar feasibility today. Find a professional near you, or send us an email at .

In 2016 the 2.3 MW Rock River solar project near Beloit became the largest solar farm in Wisconsin. Do you need help evaluating a landfill for your next utility-scale solar power project? Contact Eric Nelson, SCS’s Utility National Expert.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am

Renewable Energy Solution for Landfills – Solar Power

June 4, 2018

Solar panels at the South Brunswick Landfill – photo courtesy of SCS Engineers
Green legislation dedication ceremony in May 2018. Governor Phil Murphy (center) – courtesy of SCS Engineers.

Recently, Mike Marks and Eric Peterson of SCS Engineers attended a ceremony at a closed BFI site, the South Brunswick Landfill. The landfill features solar panels to create renewable energy as part of normal operations. The renewable energy resource will run side by side with the leachate collection, cap maintenance, and landfill gas monitoring operations.

With the solar project nearly complete at the site the Governor of New Jersey decided it would be the perfect place to sign a major piece of green energy legislation. We agree!

Governor Murphy signed the Renewable Energy bill, which helps improve and expand New Jersey’s renewable energy programs; signed legislation establishing a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program to maintain New Jersey’s nuclear energy supply; and signed an executive order directing the development of an updated Energy Master Plan (EMP) for the state to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

In attendance were state politicians, union representatives, Republic Services’ Randy Deardorff, and a host of journalists. Thank you Governor, RSI, and our SCS colleagues in New Jersey.

Mike Marks (SCS Field Services), Governor Phil Murphy (NJ), Randy Deardorff (RSI, AEM NJ/PA), and Eric Peterson (SCS Engineers).

Praise for New Jersey’s Clean Energy Economy advancements.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 8:02 am