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Renewable Energy in Region 5

urban solar power plant

RE-Powering America’s Land: Siting renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mine sites

EPA is encouraging renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when it is aligned with the community’s vision for the site. We identify the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for those interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.

EPA worked with the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to identify Brownfields, RCRA, Superfund and abandoned mine lands with wind, solar, biomass and geothermal development potential and sites with landfill gas energy development potential. More than 11,000 EPA tracked sites and nearly 15 million acres were identified across the United States. In EPA Region 5, more than 2,000 sites were identified.

Siting and financing renewable energy projects on contaminated properties

September 2011 renewable energy workshop presentations - learn about:

  • Why potential liability for existing contamination on such sites is no longer a barrier to reuse
  • Renewable energy projects that have been successfully and profitably sited on contaminated properties
  • Financial incentives from the federal government for siting renewable energy on contaminated lands

NREL Criteria

RE-Powering America’s Land (PDF) (3pp, 270K) September 2011 - describes the criteria NREL used to determine how suitable a particular area is for wind, solar or biomass renewable energy production.

Region 5 Contaminated Properties

The Region 5 Contaminated Properties spreadsheet (XSLX, 2.9MB, September 2011) lists the following types of properties for Region 5, along with the results of the NREL assessment for siting a renewable energy project on the site.

  • all Federal and State Superfund sites
  • Brownfields sites
  • RCRA Corrective Action sites
  • abandoned mines in Region 5
  • the RACER Trust sites (former General Motors (GM) properties)

Finding Environmental Information on Contaminated Properties using EPA's Envirofacts website (PDF) (2pp, 243K) September, 2011


US EPA Region 5 Renewable Energy Maps (PDF) (8pp, 1.1MB) - September 2011

  • EPA-Tracked Sites with Wind Generation Potential & Current Wind Power Projects
  • EPA-Tracked Sites with Biorefinery Facility Siting Potential
  • EPA-Tracked Sites within 1 Mile of more than 1 Farm Business (Dairy/Beef Cattle/Hog)
  • Existing Anaerobic Digesters and Dairy, Hog, and Poultry Farms
  • EPA-Tracked Sites with Current and Potential Landfill Gas Energy Projects
  • RACER (former GM) Sites Screened for Renewable Energy Potential - see also the RACER Trust (former GM) Properties Map Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Existing Solar PV Projects in Region 5

Maps by state

EPA tracked sites with renewable energy potential

  • Illinois - Community Wind, Biopower, Biorefinery, Photovoltaic Solar Policy Driven
  • Indiana - Community Wind Map, Biopower, Biorefinery
  • Michigan - Community Wind, Biopower, Biorefinery, Photovoltaic Solar Policy Driven
  • Minnesota - Utility Scale Wind, Community Wind, Biopower, Biorefinery
  • Ohio - Community Wind, Photovoltaic Solar Policy Driven, Biopower, Biorefinery
  • Wisconsin - Community Wind, Biopower, Biorefinery

Contact Allen Melcer (melcer.allen@epa.gov) to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

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