The largest solar energy installation in New York City will be installed at Freshkills Parks on Staten Island, city officials announced today at a press conference on the island. 47 acres of land will be leased to SunEdison, a company that won the contract to “construct, install and operate a solar power facility with the potential to generate up to 10 megawatts of power,” which the Bloomberg administration says amounts to “five times more than any solar energy system in the city and enough to power approximately 2,000 homes.”
“Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world,” Bloomberg said today. “Soon it will be one of the City’s largest parks, and the site of the largest solar power installation ever developed within the five boroughs. Over the last twelve years we’ve restored wetlands and vegetation and opened new parks and soccer fields at the edges of the site… We will increase the amount of solar energy produced in New York City by 50 percent and it is only fitting that Freshkills, once a daily dumping ground, will become a showcase for urban renewal and sustainability.”
The project is expected to break ground in 2015, with somewhere between 30,000 to 35,000 solar panels installed on the parkland.
It was also announced that next month the Parks Department will petition the Department of City Planning to formally map an additional 1,500 acres of the Freshkills site as parkland. Once it’s designated as park, the added land at Freshkills will put the City at over 30,000 acres of parkland, “a size greater than the entire city of San Francisco.” It will also make Staten Island the borough with the highest parkland acreage, at 8,822 acres.