Some two decades ago, the last trash load arrived at the Fresh Kills Landfill. The packed barged turned slowly out of the Arthur Kill, a long, brown tidal strait that divides Staten Island from New Jersey, and docked at the Sanitation Department Pier.
The once biggest landfill in the world, the Freshkills Park in Staten Island will now be the home to 10 megawatts of solar power.
New York City chose the smallest borough for the installation of the largest solar energy project.
Biggest Trash Site Transformed into a Solar Power Field
The solar development is part of the city’s ongoing initiative to transform the land in the past 12 years. This transformation already included wetland and vegetation restoration.
And, 47 acres of this land is leased to SunEdison selected through public bidding to be in charge of the design, construction, installation, and operation of a solar farm that’s potent enough to power 2000 homes!
According to Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York, Freshkills that was once a dumping site is now proof of sustainability and renewal. According to estimates, this solar project will boost the renewable energy of New York by 50 percent.
Sergej Mahnovski, the director of Bloomberg’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability notes that the project will push the renewable regulations of the state to “their boundaries” and expand the power supply.
Solar projects like this one are part of the PlaNYC that has a goal to lower the greenhouse gas emissions in the five boroughs by 30 percent by the year 2030.
New York’s Road to Sustainability
New York also went into a third-party ownership agreement for the installation of around 2 MW of solar energy on their four city-owned buildings, i.e. the Port Richmond Waste Water Treatment Plant, two high schools in the Bronx, and the Island Ferry Maintenance Building in Staten Island.
Around 700 kilowatts are already achieved on park buildings, firehouses, police precincts, and other buildings in the city.
Deputy Mayor for Operations, Cas Holloway notes that the development of solar energy in Freshkills Parks shows that big renewable energy projects are possible in New York, but this is only the beginning.