Reclamation of an old, abandoned quarry near the town of Novato, Calif., involved the placement of 6,000 solar panels to convert it into a solar farm capable of producing enough energy to power 300 homes, CBS SF Bay Area reports. The quarry was called a “brown site,” because asbestos in the rock made it unusable for most purposes, but Frank Gobar and Roy Phillips, co-owners of Cooley Quarry solar farm, found a way to turn the brown site “green.”
“It lends itself quite well. It has no trees. It’s an area that has no particular use because of the soil’s condition,” Gobar told the news agency, adding that the brand-new facility will contain more than 6,000 solar panels and generate about 1 megawatt of electricity when it goes online in approximately 30 days. And because it’s tucked out of sight and producing renewable energy, there haven’t been any complaints from Marin County residents.
According to the news agency, Marin Clean Energy, the local power utility, contracted for the power for its most environmentally conscious clients with a program called “Local Sol.” Marin Clean Energy’s director of public affairs Jamie Tuckey tells the news agency that, “Local Sol is the service option that customers can sign up for to get 100 percent of their energy from the Cooley Solar site.”
Gobar and Phillips are teaming up to create projects like this, which they believe will be the wave of the future. “Yeah, this is the pilot for many others…not just for us, but others as well…It’s starting here,” Phillips told the news agency.
Abandoned California Quarry Becomes Site of Solar Farm, by Kerry Clines, Aggregates Manager, May 5, 2017.