A new solar-energy project at the York County Solid Waste Authority is proving to be a win-win, according to company officials.
"It's a win for the environment; it's a win for the authority," said spokeswoman Ellen O'Connor.
The authority invested $100,000 to construct 806 solar panels on two acres at its old landfill in Hopewell Township.
O'Connor couldn't confirm how much money the solar project will save for the Solid Waste Authority.
Construction started in April, and on June 30 the system began generating enough electricity to produce 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity — the annual energy usuage at the landfill.
"It's been great. It's meeting the energy needs of the entire landfill," O'Connor said.
Though the landfill has been closed for several years, the authority still monitors the land and operates remediation pumps.
"The solar panels are powering that and providing the electrical needs for the area," she said.
The York County Sanitary Landfill, at 3969 Plank Road in Stewartstown, was in operation from 1974 to 1997.
In 2006, about 200 acres of the closed landfill were revamped to become the Hopewell Area Recreation Complex.
The old landfill now features athletic fields, a wildlife habitat, youth playgrounds, walking trails and a picnic pavilion.
Those features fit in with the authority's strategy to reduce waste, reuse, recycle and recover resources, authority officials said.
"The use of a solar panel system to supply our power needs at the landfill demonstrates not only our commitment to alternative energy, but also our efforts to minimize operational impacts to the environment," said Richard Hazenstab, coordinator of operations and environmental programs for the authority.
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