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Climate Change Contacts

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Renewable Energy on Contaminated Lands in California

RE-Powering Mapping Tool: Pacific Southwest Region (AZ, CA, HI, NV)

Directions for using the
Google Earth Map

Ensure you have Google Earth loaded onto your computer. You can download Google Earth Exiting EPA (disclaimer) for free online.

  • Open the Google Earth Map (KMZ) (1.8M) to launch the California Contaminated Lands Mapping Tool.
  • In the navigation bar under "Renewable Energy Sites", sites are organized by those considered priority sites, those that are not considered priority sites, and those that do not have acreage information. In addition, the tool allows the viewer to turn various layers on and off to explore sites that are prime for specific technologies.
  • For more information on Google Earth and how to use it see the Google Earth User Guide. Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

In partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has developed a Google Earth map and data set that helps identify contaminated and degraded sites in California that are possible candidates for renewable energy development.

The map and data set identify and screen approximately 11,000 public and private sites in California to select the prime locations for utility scale renewable energy development, based on the various renewable energy technologies and associated screening criteria. The sites consist of former and current Superfund, Brownfield and mine sites, as well as various other cleanup opportunities. The tools are designed to be used by renewable energy developers, local government officials and others who are interested in siting renewable energy on non-pristine lands. This effort builds upon EPA's RE-Powering America's Lands Initiative by including additional California sites from state databases and uses a screening tool that filters and selects prime sites for utility-scale renewable energy development.

On This Page

Google Earth Map

The Google Earth Map file (.kmz) allows the viewer to see contaminated sites in California from an aerial perspective. In addition, it provides an easy way to see priority sites for utility scale renewable energy development, differentiated by technology type. Users are able to search for sites by geographic area or by preferred renewable energy technology. In addition, users can zoom into each site to get more detailed information, including but not limited to: acreage, slope, renewable energy potential, and latitude and longitude information. Although the tool screens for priority sites for utility scale projects, users are also able to see sites that could be ideal for smaller projects.

Follow the directions in the box at right to use the RE-Powering Mapper R9 tool (KMZ) (3.1M).

Disclaimer: The data presented here and the associated tools are not meant to endorse or favor specific sites of land. The suggested priority sites are sites that appear favorable for utility scale renewable energy through a screening process with various criteria. By labeling a site as ‘priority’, EPA is not suggesting that the site owners have been notified or are favorable to renewable energy development, but merely that the site fits numerous attributes required for renewable energy generation.


EPA’s RE–Powering Screening Dataset
  • Provides the data used to determine renewable energy potential for over 66,000 sites, including the CA pilot screening results;
  • Allows users to screen for renewable energy potential in key markets, at different development scales, and more.

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Static Maps

The static maps included below give an overall snapshot of contaminated sites in California, and identify utility scale sites that are considered high priority for a specific renewable energy technology.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Adobe Reader.

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Success Stories

Aerojet General Corporation Superfund Site

Aerojet Solar Farm
Aerojet's Solar Farm in California

The Aerojet General Corporation Superfund Site covers 5,900 acres near Sacramento, California and was formerly used to manufacture rocket engines and chemicals. In 2008, a public-private partnership between Aerojet, Solar Power, Inc. and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District led to the development of a remarkable 40-acre solar farm on the contaminated, Aerojet site. The solar farm is used to power the site's extensive groundwater remediation program, as well as to reduce the company's carbon footprint.

Frontier Fertilizer

Frontier Fertilizer Installation
Frontier Fertilizer - Renewable Energy on Contaminated Lands

The Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site in Davis, California is an 18-acre former industrial site that is contaminated with pesticides and various other chemicals. In 2011, green remediation strategies were implemented that included installing a roof-top photovoltaic system to operate the existing groundwater pump-and-treat (P&T) system.

Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site Roof-Top PV Operations
Evergreen 205-W PV panels
This system produces approximately 109,000 kWh per year, offsetting 100% of the P&T system's demand for grid-supplied electricity. The photovoltaic system avoids an estimated 119,000 pounds in carbon dioxide (equivalent) emissions each year, and saves an average of $15,000 in operating expenses per year.

A total of 336 Evergreen 205-W PV panels were installed on ground mountings covering approximately half an acre adjacent to the groundwater treatment building.


For further information on the California RE-Powering Mapper Tool or to submit suggestions for improvement, please contact Cara Gillen (gillen.cara@epa.gov).

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