Brightfield site definition
What is a Brightfield?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a Brightfield is an abandoned or contaminated property that is redeveloped through the incorporation of solar energy, which can be many different types of solar applications including photovoltaic arrays. Brightfield development leads to economic development, environmental cleanup and improved air quality by bringing pollution free solar energy and high tech manufacturing jobs to brownfield, greyfield and redfield sites.
As a redevelopment strategy, Brightfields offer a range of opportunities to link solar energy to brownfield reuse and thereby transform community hazards and eyesores into productive, green and increasingly profitable ventures. As solar energy prices have come down thanks to ever-improving technology, Brightfield development is an unprecedented opportunity to lift hundreds of thousands of Brownfield, Greyfield and Redfield back into productive use and at the same time create high-tech jobs in blighted areas, while improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The first Brightfield program was developed in Chicago and epitomized as the model program – it included development of a photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing plant, a roof-mounted PV system and a small ground-mounted PV array. This model was promoted at various brownfields and solar conferences, as well as on the DOE's and EPA's website. It was comprehensive in that it included a commitment from Commonwealth Edison (a utility company) and City of Chicago to purchase a $8 million of the PV modules produced at the factory for rooftop applications city-wide. This was to ensure there was sufficient demand to warrant development of the PV manufacturing plant in Chicago. A large solar on brownfield project from Exelon followed on Chicago's south side, then the largest such urban solar project of its kind.
Use the Brightfield tag whenever solar development might be desired or when a site has been professionally designated for suitability for use as a solar power location; typically verified by one or more third-party reports. Ready Brightfields have some, if not all, utility infrastructure already in place or may simply be near utility lines amenable to solar power distribution.
Apply the Brightfield tag on every Basic Listing for free, and discover all the tags you can use to best describe the characteristics and conditions on your property and/or in your project in the BL Taxonomy. See how to tag your property or project as a Brightfield by learning How to List or how to Get Started.