Due to the outgassing of carbon dioxide and methane gas from the biological processes in landfills, it is often legislated that landfills must be entirely covered by a geomembrane layer to avoid emission of greenhouse gases and pollution from water penetrating the landfill and entering the ground water. Therefore a geomembrane layer is used both for water run off as well as to stop outgassing.
During the time when the landfills are outgassing (20+ years), ground movements are naturally occurring and the area cannot be used for housing etc.Since the methane gas (biogas) contains energy, it can be used to drive electrical generators.
By installing flexible lightweight solar panels on the geomembranes, energy can be generated both from the biogas and the solar panels – so called Solar Covered Landfills (SCL). Solar covered landfills have already been applied in Europe and in USA.
Midsummer’s flexible solar panels are the perfect choice to mount on top of the geomembranes. The generated electricity can either be consumed directly by the biogas recycle company or connected to a grid. Investors in PV projects are often faced with a high price of land, especially in urban areas where the energy is required; a solar covered landfill is a good location for PV farms.