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EPA, DOE to Study Potential for Renewable Energy Possibilities on Farmland Industries Nitrogen Plant Site in Lawrence, Kan.

Release Date: 11/04/2011
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, (913) 551-7364,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 4, 2011) - EPA and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory are collaborating on a project to evaluate the feasibility of siting renewable energy production at the Farmland Industries Nitrogen Plant Site in Lawrence, Kan. The study, valued up to $35,000, will explore the potential for a biopower facility or a biorefinery on the site, and will evaluate the technical and economic opportunities and challenges at the site.

The 467-acre former Farmland Industries Nitrogen Plant produced an array of nitrogen-based fertilizer products from 1954 until it closed in 2001. The City of Lawrence plans to redevelop the property as a business park for tenants engaged in industry, business and research.

The city intends to provide the infrastructure and support necessary to attract tenants that incorporate principles of sustainability into their construction plans and operations. Renewable energy generation onsite is critical to Lawrence’s redevelopment vision for the site.

“Renewable energy is a vital part of America’s energy future. By using wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources, we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions from other sources of energy production,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks.

EPA’s RE-powering America’s Land Initiative encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when it is aligned with the community’s vision for the site. The collaboration pairs EPA’s expertise on contaminated sites with DOE’s expertise in renewable energy.

As part of the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, EPA is investing approximately $1 million for projects across the United States aiming to decrease the amount of green space used for development while continuing to ensure the protection of people's health, the environment and provide economic benefits to local communities, including job creation. EPA Region 7, which is comprised of Iowa, Kansas Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations, is one of only three regions to have four sites selected, with one in each state of the region.

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