Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NYC's Largest Solar Energy Installation Planned For Staten Island

Between the gigantic proposed Ferris wheel and runaway zebras, Staten Island has been living large as of late. Now come plans to build the city's largest solar farm on parkland that was once the largest landfill in the world.  In an announcement last week, outgoing  Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed that Freshkills Park will soon be home to a 10-megawatt power plant that, when completed, will have 35,000 solar panels and the capacity to produce enough energy to power approximately 2,000 homes.

On a parcel of land that was once a mountain of trash, New York City plans to build a remarkable source of clean, renewable energy.

Once world’s biggest landfill, since 2008 Freshkills Park on Staten Island has been the site of a massive land reclamation project that aims to develop a green space nearly three times the size of Central Park.

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Freshkills will also soon become the city’s biggest source of solar power.

The city plans to lease 47 acres of the park to private solar-farm developer SunEdison, which will design and install a solar power facility big enough to increase the city’s renewable energy capacity by 50 percent.

The farm’s 35,000 solar panels will generate 10 megawatts of power — more than any solar energy system in the city and enough to power approximately 2,000 homes.  Energy generated from the array will be fed directly into the city's Con Edison-managed electrical grid.

“It is only fitting that Freshkills, once a daily dumping ground, will become a showcase urban renewal and sustainability,” Bloomberg said in an announcement at the park.

In a city where basking in the sunshine can be a hard luxury to come by, New York City has found a way to effectively kill two birds with one stone: create much-needed green space while simultaneously forging ahead with the city’s long-term sustainability plan, PlaNYC.

In recent years, the plan has implemented a number of solar energy initiatives aimed at scaling up the use of solar energy at city sites and creating a market for renewable energy.

The dramatic reduction of the cost of solar panels has made solar power an increasingly attractive option for cities that want to fortify their power grids.

Construction on Freshkills’ solar energy facility will break ground in 2015 and the plant should open in 2016. In addition to the solar facility, city officials will move forward with steps to add 1,500 acres to Freshkills Park, bringing the total site up to 2,200 acres of parkland.

“Not long ago, few could have imagined that Freshkills would be transformed into a park, let alone into a clean-energy facility,” said Mayor Bloomberg during the announcement. “This is one of the most exciting clean-energy projects in development in the entire city, and it will serve as a powerful symbol of the environmental renaissance now underway on Staten Island.”

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011