The new solar installations will reduce emissions from petroleum-fueled generators, which the city currently has to use on hot summer days to meet peak demand, according to Triple Pundit.
Abandoned industrial sites and capped landfills are known as “brownfields;” land that for one reason or another has become contaminated and must be restored before it can be used.
Because restoration is such a long and costly process, brownfields are often ignored. Repurposing landfills as solar power plants is a faster and more cost-efficient way to rescue this abandoned real estate.
Reuters reports that the new solar installations will be spread across a sliver of the city’s 3,000 acres of landfill property, and could generate enough electricity to supply 50,000 New York homes with power.
This project, while adventurous, is a great way for NYC to remain competitive with New Jersey and Massachusetts, states where utility-scale projects on brownfields — abandoned industrial sites and landfills — are increasingly popping up.
“Aside from helping to improve local air quality,” 3P’s Tina Casey writes, “…New York City’s plan is actually a local version of a federal program called RE-Powering America’s Land, which seeks to develop brownfields and Superfund sites for renewable energy.” Not only do heavily populated urban areas get a facelift, local installers, electricians and other skilled tradespeople also get jobs.
Mayor Bloomberg also plans to use $40 million in federal economic stimulus funding to create a nonprofit Energy Efficiency Corp., which would provide low-cost financing to building owners to conserve energy with more efficient lighting, heat and insulation, said Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor.
Image Credit: Flickr - Port of San Diego
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