Freshkills Park, the massive restoration project that’s transforming what used to be the world’s largest landfill into public green space, is one step closer to receiving its long awaited solar and wind power. The city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from private contractors to build solar and wind installations on the site to power 6,000 homes. The plan for renewable energy in Freshkills Park has been talked about since the park’s inception, and this is a huge step in making the plan a reality.
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Economic Development Corporation are leasing 75 acres of the 2,200 acres of Freshkills land for the development. The winning contractor will design, construct, and operate the new facility. Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, a longtime advocate for the green energy project, was thrilled with the move forward. He told Staten Island Live that he believes this “will surely be a model for how renewable energy can be realized in the largest city in America.”
Work on Freshkills Park, which was designed by James Corner Field Operations, began back in 2006, and it will continue throughout the next three decades. Current sections of the park are already open to the public, and Freshkills regularly hosts events like birdwatching and educational tours. Last summer, we toured the site, getting an up close look at what will be New York City’s largest park — Freshkills is three times the size of Central Park. RFPs are due May 24.
Freshkills Park is the location of this year’s Land Art Genorator Initiative, a competition that tasks entrants to design a piece of public art that produces clean energy. The goal is to change the way we think about what green energy generation looks like, while expanding public awareness about the potential for a renewable energy future through art. The competition closes July 1, and a winner will be announced on August 30. Perhaps some of the ideas could be implemented into the forthcoming renewable energy development.