Equitable Development Tools

Brownfields To Brightfields: Opportunities, Challenges & Program Models

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported more than 450,000 estimated brownfields nationwide, but only 415 renewable energy installations on brownfields as of 2020. As solar achieves new economies of scale and land use and equity concerns increase in intensity, there is a vast untapped potential market for Brownfields to Brightfields projects that create local benefits – especially in low-income communities and communities of color that disproportionately suffer from industrial pollution, disinvestment, and vacancy; lack access to clean energy resources; and face severe climate change impacts and risks.

Over the past year Groundwork USA and MAPC engaged in extensive research – including 14
stakeholder interviews with municipal staff, state and federal agencies, community organizations, and renewable energy developers – to better understand the opportunities and challenges surrounding B2B projects. The following memo summarizes our learnings from this research and highlights challenges, opportunities, and promising program models from the field.

Download the Memo

This was made possible by generous funding from The EPA’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program.