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  • It's Not Easy Being Green (Even When it Should Be)

    Thursday, December 12, 12:15 pm - 01:15 pm
    408 B
    Panel Discussions
    Track 1: Sustainability, Livability, Resiliency
    The marriage of siting renewable energy projects on brownfields should be a "no brainer." Contaminated property is redeveloped, climate change is combatted, and communities receive clean energy while returning unproductive properties back to the tax rolls. What's not to love? Even when all of the relevant stakeholders agree that placing renewable energy project on a brownfield is a good idea, the implementation of that good idea may meet with unanticipated resistance. Stakeholders who back a project is a good idea may have hesitation when it comes to implementing the project as unfamiliar issues come to light. Moreover, the financing of renewable energy projects can be complex, and lenders and equity partners may find a contaminated project site to be more than a prospective development deal can bear. Still, renewable energy projects on brownfields ARE worth doing, but proponents should go into them with their eyes open. This session will look at one example of renewable energy development on a brownfield -- the siting of a grid-scale solar project on an abandoned landfill in Wallingford, Connecticut. Though the project had the full support of various state agencies and an experienced deal team on board, there were several unanticipated hurdles that needed to be overcome for the project to be successful. Our panel will discuss those hurdles, how they were navigated, and what towns, states and developers can learn as they bring their own projects to completion.
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