Good news once again for the NYC solar power enthusiast! Energy developers are lining up for a chance to develop solar panels on the city’s landfills, as part of the mayor’s PlaNYC environmental initiative. Last week, mayor Michael Bloomberg presented his first four year update to PlaNYC: A Greener,Greater New York, which highlighted phasing out the use of dirty oil, and installing solar panels on landfills. So far, the first steps have been taken with about 250 acres of land in the process of being used for solar energy production – that’s about 50 megawatts of power.
“Installing solar power at these sites could significantly improve local air quality by reducing generation at the city’s dirtiest plants during periods of peak summer demand,” the plan states, as reported by Reuters.
The goal of the plan however, is to eventually have panels spread out across 3,000 acres of landfill property, which would generate enough electricity for 50,000 homes. This is particularly important during summer months when backup generators powered by fossil fuels are used to meet the high demand of electricity.
“The solar markets are growing, so developers are looking for places to put large solar farms. Landfills are at the top of the list because it is cheap land in low demand,” said Joseph Harrison, a Boston-based project developer for Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a San Diego solar firm, in a report by reuters.
While 50 megawatts is little compared to a city which uses almost 20,000 megawatts of energy during hot summer days, the initial phases of the project allow for a great start in developing renewable energy projects in a city where most open land is used for other things.
NYC, does however have a lot to be hopeful for in regards to solar energy. Solar power generation has already doubled since 2010.