When a 5.6 acre section of the Tessman Road Municipal Solid Waste Landfill near San Antonio, TX reached final grade in 2008, the owners, Republic Services, Inc., directed their engineering design firm, HDR, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, to redesign the current
closure method to incorporate an innovative exposed geomembrane cover system that would serve as a mounting surface for flexible photovoltaic (solar) panels.
The membrane will remain exposed to extreme climatic conditions and potential animal traffic, so it is essential that it be reinforced. It also needs to offer decades of performance with minimal maintenance, provide superior containment, stability and protection for the environment, and meet the rules and regulations of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said Tony Walker, project manager for Republic and inventor of the solar energy cover (SEC).
Republic and HDR reviewed several membrane options before selecting Firestones 60-mil thermoplastic polyolefin geomembrane.Firestones membrane is thicker, so you get a more durable product that maintains its flexibility, stated Mark Roberts, project manager, HDR, Inc. It also offers superior weatherability and long-term performance including a 20-year warranty.
The 134.4 kW solar ray rating complements onsite landfill gas-to-energy technology. The clean energy produced translates to a
reduction of 109 tons per year in greenhouse gases (CO2) or a reduction of 222,750 auto miles per year.