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World’s Largest Landfill Will Soon Power Parts of New York City

World’s Largest Landfill Will Soon Power Parts of New York City

Written by Kiley Kroh

On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Freshkills Park on Staten Island, once the world’s largest landfill, will soon be converted into the city’s largest solar energy facility. Once completed, the plant will produce up to 10 megawatts of power — five times more than any solar energy system in the city and enough to power approximately 2,000 homes.

“We’ll be turning something which was a disaster into a benefit for the people of Staten Island, and for the environment,” said James Molinaro, Staten Island Borough President and major supporter of the project.

The installation will span 47 acres and will consist of up to 35,000 high-efficiency solar panels, installed and operated by Sun Edison at no cost to the city.

And New York isn’t stopping with renewable energy on the city’s former dump. According to the city, “the administration is moving forward with 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.”

The parkland will be mapped for a variety of uses and will have a provision for specific renewable energy sites, which will expedite and streamline the construction of the solar plant and potentially other renewable energy projects. “I’m certain that eventually we’ll have some windmills up there,” Molinaro said.

Fostering the market for renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are two key components of Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, released in 2007 and focused on making America’s largest city more resilient to the damaging effects of climate change.

Outside of the city, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a major proponent of solar energy, launching his successful NY-Sun initiative in 2012. Lawmakers are currently seeking a 10-year extension of NY-Sun, and while the legislative session expired before two versions of the bill could be reconciled this year, supporters are confident Cuomo will be able to sign the extension in the coming year.

UPDATE

This post has been updated. PlaNYC was released in 2007 and a second Bloomberg plan, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” was released in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

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Photo Credit: NYC.gov

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6:05PM PST on Dec 12, 2013

This is great news. Brilliant answer to a posing problem.

5:28AM PST on Dec 3, 2013

That is a positive step, I would like to see solar panels on every roof, and rainwater tanks too. My own roof only has 1/3 of it covered in panels and it produces a lot of power. Go Solar!

11:34AM PST on Dec 2, 2013

Solar belongs on roofs and on poles over parking lots. Wind belongs in wide open cow pastures and off-shore, at least five miles off-shore. Even renewable energy can be a NIMBY if put in a poor sport for it.

8:40AM PST on Dec 2, 2013

Sounds like a good idea. The more we use renewable or alternate energy resources, the better.

6:51AM PST on Dec 2, 2013

Good news....late.....but good news.

Too bad we can't ''solar power'' contraception!

6:33PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Interesting.

4:20PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

And when there is no more landfill area available, and people can't be crammed together any further, what? Wall-E?

The entire nation's surface is already devastated by natural disasters and human "interventions". Can't MAKE people do what's right (recycling for example) if they won't, no matter how many rules and regulations (mostly unenforced anyway) are laid out.

Idea's right up there with all things good ... and just soon as predictable.

4:06PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Thank you for the news! I'm unable to share the post on Twitter because it has an invalid code, and on Facebook because it is bugged.

3:48PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Nice to see somebody's doing something about alternative energy.

11:29AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

It would be nice if we didn't have landfills, and could recycle everything. Unfortunately, we don't recycle nearly enough. However, since landfills can't be used for much else, all of them should be converted to solar power plants, and methane recovery power plants. We need to use all available non agricultural land for solar power plants, to fight climate change, and shut down all our dirty coal plants.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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