Metroparks Toledo is eyeing two unused landfills to convert into solar panel fields to produce electricity.
The two landfills up for consideration, the Dura Avenue, and the Tyler Street Landfill, are sitting under the “brownfield” designation, meaning reuse of the space may be complicated due to potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contamination.
But now those two dormant and unproductive landfills may be converted into Metroparks Toledo’s first major solar panel project.
“We’re always looking for ways to make our operations cleaner, greener, [and] more efficient,” said Scott Carpenter of Metroparks Toledo.
The park system now has a lease agreement with the city of Toledo to use the approximately 113 acres of landfill space as the new location of a solar panel project. The energy of this project could be used to power the 19 metro parks, sold back to the grid, or sold to a private company.
“Having the option to lease those landfills from the city helps us to be able to, not only negotiate with a solar panel supplier, but also a potential buyer for the energy. So, they know that the project is real,” said Carpenter.
“There are very few uses for a former landfill. This would be a very productive use to turn unproductive land into [a] productive use.”
According to another park’s spokesmen, while there is no date for the solar panel project to open, it may only be a few years away now that the lease agreement is secured.