What was once the largest landfill on the planet is being reinvented to provide solar energy to the citizens of New York City — enough to power 2,000 homes.
Mayor Bloomberg announced last week the city’s plans to convert roughly 47 acres of land at the Freshkills Park on Staten Island into a 10-MW solar installation, five times bigger than any other system in the city and boosting the city’s renewable energy by 50 percent, according to officials.
Alongside the solar installation and planned wind turbines, parks and green spaces spanning 2,200 acres are being developed.
In the mid-2000’s two dozen city agencies began undertaking work to make the city greener, from cleaning up brownfield sites to requiring “green” buildings to expanding sustainable transportation to boosting renewable energy. At Fresh Kills, they’ve turned a mountain of trash into an oasis of green, with room for parks, wildlife and renewable energy installations, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Elsewhere in the city, an innovative third-party ownership agreement has led to the installation of almost 2 megawatts of solar energy on four City-owned buildings including a waste water treatment plant, two Bronx High Schools. Almost 700 kilowatts have already been installed on police precincts, park buildings and firehouses.
In addition to bringing renewable electricity to New York City, solar power will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local pollutants. During the hottest summer days, demand for electricity forces the activation of inefficient in-city “peaker” plants, some of which burn heavy fuel oil. The solar and wind facilities at Freshkills will reduce the need for peak electricity generation at these facilities, and help to meet the PlaNYC goal of a 30-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
(READ the story from the Renewable Energy World)