Pacific Southwest, Region 9
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Solar Panels Installed at The Pemaco Superfund Site
As part of the U.S. EPA's new Cleanup - Clean Air Initiative, solar panels recently installed at the Pemaco Superfund site will supply renewable energy to the equipment used to cleanup contamination at the Maywood, Calif. site. The three kilowatt solar panels will supply power to the remediation system, which will cleanup the soil and groundwater with high-vacuum pumps to draw out contaminants and electrical resistance heating to heat the soil and vaporize contaminants, making it easier for them to be collected and treated.
The solar panels were installed and began producing electricity on June 29. The solar system is estimated to produce about 375 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month or approximately 4,500 kilowatt-hours per year. Annually, this prevents 4,311 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere, which is comparable to the amount of CO2 stored by 50 seedlings over 10 years or 1.6 acres of pine forest in one year.
Each year, the solar panel system is also expected to prevent emissions of four pounds of nitrogen oxide and three pounds of sulfur dioxide, both of which contribute to problems with acid rain and smog.
The installation of the solar panels represents the first pilot project of the EPA's new Cleanup - Clean Air Initiative. The Initiative encourages, facilitates, and supports diesel emissions and greenhouse gas reductions technologies and practices at Superfund cleanup and redevelopment sites. This includes using renewable energy technologies (PDF) (2 pp, 803K, About PDF) - like solar power, wind power, landfill gas, and anaerobic digestion-to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Initiative also promotes the use of clean diesel technologies, like new engines or retrofit devices for old engines that significantly reduce harmful pollutants, and alternative fuels, including biodiesel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which also reduce emissions.