ReVenture Park’s Eco-Industrial Park (EIP) concept can help transform a region, and further an industry vision. The “Eco-Industrial” redevelopment approach can be duplicated on a multitude of dormant industrial sites scattered throughout the country. These relics of our country’s great manufacturing past can be recycled to breathe new life into communities by creating economic development that produces green jobs, cleaner energy, and alternative fuels.
ReVenture Park will serve the Charlotte region with:
- Economically viable large scale renewable energy production
- Creating a “hub” for Clean Energy technologies, research, and development
- Economic development opportunities to create new jobs and investment
- Advancement of Charlotte’s vision to become the “New Energy Capitol”
- Becoming a national model for similarly situated sites
- Reviving the region’s largest section of abandoned heavy industrially zoned land
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are evaluating formerly contaminated, dormant properties for renewable energy production. There are approximately 490,000 of these sites – almost 15 million acres of them – across the United States.
According to the EPA, “These lands are environmentally and economically beneficial for siting renewable energy facilities” because they:
- Often have critical infrastructure in place including electric service, transmission lines, roads and water and are adequately zoned for this kind of development.
- Are economically viable for re-use. Cleanup costs have already been invested and the sites are ready for brownfield agreements.
- Can provide clean energy job opportunities.
- Take the stress off undeveloped lands for new energy facilities, preserving the land for other uses.
Developing an Eco-Industrial Park is no small task, but it has been said that “all things worthwhile are difficult”. Air permits have to be secured, power purchase agreements negotiated, environmental remediation plans approved, communities informed, financing obtained and a multitude of permits secured.
The amount of collaboration, permitting, planning, political and public support required for ReVenture Park is astonishing. Happily, the cooperation from the City and County staff, elected officials, and our neighbors, is truly refreshing. Our stakeholders understand the opportunity we share for enhanced energy and economic independence.
Old and unused manufacturing facilities should not be liabilities. Developing an energy park on a dormant industrial complex is a rare instance when the private sector, public policy and environmental interests align to promote the Clean Energy Economy. As we create energy parks on old abandoned sites we transform liabilities into an assets: The essence of recycling.