Wind, solar sought for epic NY trash heap

New York City is a big city, and it’s been big for a long time – long enough to create, and close, a huge landfill, known as Fresh Kills. 

Now the city has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for solar and wind power facilities at the former landfill on Staten Island.

The City would like to realize the potential for these 75 acres of brownfield to produce 20 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power roughly 6,000 homes, and more than double the City’s current renewable energy capacity.

This project is seen as a way to foster the local market for renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions, two initiatives of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability blueprint for New York City.

“New York City needs energy to keep it running, and we want that power to be reliable, clean, and affordable,” said Deputy Mayor Holloway, in a statement. 

”Renewable energy is the most sustainable kind, and under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, we’re maximizing the use of City assets to develop as much capacity as possible.”

Carter Strickland, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, added: “Given that open space is at a premium in New York City, capped landfills offer unique potential for utility-scale solar and wind power.”

He went on to note that during the hottest summer days—when demand for electricity forces the activation of inefficient in-city “peaker” plants, some of which burn heavy fuel oil—the solar and wind facilities at Fresh Kills will kick in, helping to meet the PlaNYC goal of a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The RFP—which encompasses the design, construction, installation, and operation of these renewable energy facilities—is available on the New York City Economic Development Corporation website. Responses are due on a rolling basis to be reviewed at each submission deadline. Submission dates are May 24, 2012; Aug. 15, 2012; Nov. 15, 2012; and a final submission date of Feb. 15, 2013.

Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling