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E – 1859 Renewable Energy for Critical Infrastructure

Intended Audience: Civil, Environmental, and Electrical Engineers.



The Environmental Protection Agency has established a program called the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, that encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites (RE-Powering sites). RE-Powering can provide cleaner energy sources in areas of high demand, while returning land to productive use. RE-Powering sites also may have attributes (for example, proximity to infrastructure) that can lower renewable energy development costs and shorten development time frames.

In this online engineering PDH course, a methodology is presented for determining if it is possible—in areas with high vulnerability to natural disasters—to match the need to maintain critical wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) with potential RE-Powering sites in ways that are economically beneficial. Although demonstrated in the course by application to WWTPs, the methodology was intentionally designed to be general enough to apply to other types of critical infrastructure—such as drinking water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, emergency centers, cell towers, fire stations, and natural gas distribution centers.

This course is based on the Environmental Protection Agency document, “RE-Powering Critical Infrastructure,” February 2019, as part of EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Course, the student should understand:

  • Course participants will learn how to apply vulnerability screening to identify RE-Powering sites located in areas that are likely to experience power outages.
  • Course participants will learn how to apply proximity screening to identify RE-Powering sites near a WWTP.
  • Course participants will learn how to apply economic screening to identify RE-Powering sites that are economically suited for siting renewable energy.
  • Course participants will learn how to apply needs screening to identify RE-Powering sites most likely to meet the needs of the facility being supported.
  • Course participants will be able to apply the screening methodology to critical infrastructure other than WWTPS.

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