New York Landfills Get Massive Solar Upgrade

The city of New York is installing solar panels on its closed and aging landfills as part of Bloomberg’s plan to reduce dependence on emissions-causing fossil fuels by 2030.

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.

Related Reading:

New York City Hearts The Environment

Empire State Building Switches To 100% Renewable Energy

Turn Landfills Into Renewable Energy!

Image Credit: Flickr - Port of San Diego


Janine Hofmann
Janine H6 years ago

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Kristin G.
Kristin G.6 years ago

good good.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago

Good for energy conservation.

Marco C.
Marco C6 years ago

Bravo, now thats intelligent!

caterina caligiuri


Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

Good. Solar panels do NOT need clean dirt under them.

Dana W.
Dana W6 years ago

Hope more communities will follow their lead.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Ann E.
Ann E6 years ago

I have not heard of this before, what great problem solving.

Christine S.

What a brilliant use of unusable land- I much prefer turning an old landfill into a solar farm rather than some endangered tortoises' desert habitat.