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December 05, 2013

NYC Dump To Go From Trash To Treasure With Big Solar

A new big solar project is moving forward in the Big Apple. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (News - Alert) is getting the long talked about solar project underway at the old Freshkill Landfill. The landfill is currently being filled in so it can be turned into a park.

The city will lease around 47 acres of land at the Staten Island site to SunEdison (News - Alert) for a solar power plant. When completed the plant will generate up to 10 megawatts. This will increase NYC’s solar production by a whopping 50 percent.

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Recently a report was released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that states there are 66,000 contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites across the country that would make appropriate sites for renewables to be built.

Andy Darrell the regional director and chief of strategy for energy at the Environmental Defense fund says that, “At Fresh Kills, a mountain of trash is becoming an oasis of green, with room for parks, wildlife and renewable energy. The price of solar panels is at historic lows, and it’s innovation like this that can help make the benefits of solar power available to more New Yorkers.”

The project was purposed nearly two years ago. At the time the city requested up to 75 of the brownfield to use to produce either solar or wind. SunEdison will have map the 1,500 acres of what will be Freshkills Park and massage regulations to allow the large-scale solar production and grid connection onto the site.

Sanitarian commissioner John Doherty adds that, “SunEdison has done many comparable installations at other closed landfills in the northeast. This will be the first of its kind in NYC.  The designs will take into account that during the installation and operation of the solar panels, the city (DSNY) will continue its post-closure monitoring and maintenance obligations, which are mandated by a Consent Order with the state.”

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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