Watershed Geo, a global technology provider for environmental and civil infrastructures, will partner with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to accelerate decarbonization innovation and bring new life to retired coal plants. In TVA’s pursuit of a 100 MW solar generation project on their closed coal ash site at Plant Shawnee in Kentucky, they have selected to use Watershed Geo’s impoundment closure technologies and their innovative solar technology. This repurposing of coal ash impoundments to green energy production facilities is a key initiative of TVA reducing its carbon levels 80% by 2035, compared to its 2005 levels, and aspiring to be net-zero by 2050.
In addition to the innovative approach to green energy, Watershed Geo’s solutions provide an opportunity to eliminate the need to develop large tracks of land for solar energy and allows for the use of existing infrastructure at the plant, two key features to reduce impact on the surrounding community.
Watershed Geo’s renewable energy technology, called PowerCap™, is a unique solar innovation to be used on the Plant Shawnee Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) impoundment. The foundation is another innovation by Watershed Geo called ClosureTurf®, a patented technology that has been used at multiple TVA sites to close coal ash impoundments in accordance with federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state CCR mandates. The PowerCap patented system was developed to allow for solar energy production on previously undevelopable land, such as impoundments, landfill brownfields, and topographically challenging land. PowerCap does not use traditional ballast but instead incorporates an innovative patent-pending rail system that enhances stability and factors of safety. It directly attaches to the ClosureTurf surface with no penetrations of the closure system. The system’s unique patented design allows for high power potential per unit area and for installation on steep slopes for even greater utilization of space. This can provide as much as three times the power output per unit area compared to a traditional racking system.
“TVA has shown great leadership in executing on innovative solutions to dramatically improve how renewable energy is developed,” says Mike Ayers, CEO of Watershed Geo. “It’s a green approach to green energy. We are honored to be a part of the of the innovative industry shift of applying beneficial reuse to what is typically unusable land. We believe TVA will lead the way in establishing a future best management practice for the global environment and local communities.”
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., Watershed Geo develops intellectual property and provides technical solutions for ongoing problematic civil and environmental, and renewable energy infrastructure through licenses offered by Watershed Solar, LLC. Watershed’s products solve an array of issues in industries such as geotechnical engineering, waste management, erosion control, and renewable energy. Watershed’s branded technologies include ClosureTurf® for municipal, industrial and coal combustion residual landfill/impoundment final closures; HydroTurf® advanced revetment technology for high hydraulic shear protections; VersaCap® for intermediate landfill gas emission control and leachate reduction; and, through its partnership with Watershed Solar, PowerCap™ solar technology for renewable energy on landfills and brownfields For more information, visit watershedgeo.com.