News Brief

Brownfields + Renewables = Award-Winning Innovation

EPA gets kudos from Harvard for turning contaminated land into clean energy.

Located atop a capped landfill, this Fort Carson PV array provides 2 MW of capacity.

Photo: U.S. Army
Landfills, decommissioned mines, and Superfund sites are being put to good use through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative. Now the program has received top honors from Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

The EPA program provides mapping tools, technical support, and other resources to help ensure that much-needed development of solar and wind farms happens on previously developed land rather than on greenfield sites. RE-Powering so far boasts 73 installations in 26 states totaling 217 MW of capacity—about two-thirds of that capacity from photovoltaics. Most of the projects sell power wholesale to the grid, according to EPA.

Given every two years, the Harvard Innovations Award recognizes government projects that are novel, effective, significant, and transferable. An Alaska watershed council also received an award for environmental revitalization for bringing together 70 sovereign indigenous tribes under an international governance model to protect the Yukon River.

Published June 3, 2013

Melton, P. (2013, June 3). Brownfields + Renewables = Award-Winning Innovation. Retrieved from

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