The city of Brockton, Massachusetts was once home to “Mount Trashmore”, a massive capped off landfill which unleashed a foul odor over the area surrounding the city. However, it is now home to a solar plant that will provide clean energy to Brockton citizens.
The 4.7-megawatt photovoltaic installation was created over the inactive Thatcher Street landfill. This comes as some relief to nearby citizens, who have complained for years of a rotten-egg like smell which pervaded the area around the landfill as the cap was being installed on the 35-acre property. It was finally capped off with 800,000 tons of dirt in 2006.
“For the city to be able to take a closed landfill, a completely nonproductive site, and be able to now create this solar field here is a big win for this city and the residents,” said Mayor of Brockton, Bill Carpenter. “This has a substantial positive impact in Brockton’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. There’s also a financial incentive.”
Brockton will get around 25% of the value of the electricity generated by the site, which will equal a surplus of around $320,000 dollars each year, which the city will then use to purchase its own energy. The landfill will also be offsetting the emissions of around 12,000 cars every year, according to Carpenter.
The 12,528-panel solar installation was constructed during the winter of this year, and a team of up to 75 people from the Roslindale-based Conti construction group worked hard throughout tough winter conditions.
City Councilor Paul Studenski, who represents the area around the landfill, is happy to see the land being used to generate clean energy. Studenski explained that it has been quite a while since the odor problems went away. The odor was caused by “burping”, emissions of gas from the breakdown of landfill components.
“Solar is the way of the future,” said Studenski. “It’s a good form of energy.”