Political Winds Improve for Turbines at former NYC Landfill
Submitted by Elizabeth Mooney on Thu, 2012-03-01 10:44.
This spring, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will solicit plans for the city's first major wind project, the installation of turbines atop the decommissioned Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.
City officials say the wasteland known as Fresh Kills is an ideal location. DEP will, in the next two months, ask for wind and solar proposals to develop 75 acres of the landfill, with the goal of adding 15 megawatts of energy, enough to power 3,300 homes. Officials said at least a third of the production would be wind power.
The Fresh Kills plan could double the city's solar output, but it is the wind turbines that excite the Staten Island borough president, James P. Molinaro, who has lobbied for a wind farm for years, and persuaded the state to finance a study that showed the site could support seven 400-foot turbines.
City officials say it has taken them this long to evaluate the challenges of installing wind turbines on the landfill's unique subsurface. Fresh Kills closed as a landfill handling the city's residential garbage more than a decade ago and is now undergoing a transformation into a 2,200-acre park.
"It'd change the biggest tragedy that ever happened to Staten Island and convert it to something wonderful," Mr. Molinaro said. "Windmills that would give us clean energy in a beautiful park. It'd be a model for the rest of the world to look at."
And city planners are working on zoning changes, now under review by the City Planning Commission, to allow turbines up to 55 feet high on the rooftops of buildings taller than 100 feet, and even taller turbines on commercial and industrial sites along the waterfront.
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