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Freshkills Park on Staten Island, once the world’s largest landfill site, is set to be converted into New York City’s largest solar power plant according to an announcement made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday.
The new facility will consist of 35,000 high-efficiency solar panels spread across a 47 acres plot. It will have a generating capacity of around 10 megawatts, making it five times larger than any other solar facility in the city, and enough to supply about 2,000 homes with power. Sun Edison will install and operate the solar panels.
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James Molinaro, the President for the borough of Staten Island, explained that they “will be turning something which was a disaster into a benefit for the people of Staten Island, and for the environment.”
The solar facility is in fact just a small part of the plan for Freshkills Park, which according to the city’s administration includes “steps to officially map an additional 1,500 acres of Freshkills into parkland, officially bringing the total for Freshkills Park to 2,200 acres and bringing total parkland in New York City to more than 30,000 acres for the first time in history.”
An artist’s impression of the solar facility at Freshkills Park.
Part of the plans for the parkland involves setting aside certain areas for renewable energy generation. The solar facility will be installed in one of these areas, and other renewable energy projects will likely be developed in other parts of the park. Molinaro said, “I’m certain that eventually we’ll have some windmills up there.”
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Solar power is playing an ever increasing role in New York’s energy mix, as it tries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy generation. Governor Andrew Cuomo provided a huge boost to the solar sector with his NY-Sun initiative in 2012, and lawmakers are currently seeking a ten year extension, which many believe Cuomo will sign in 2014.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…