STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The mayor’s plan to create an environmentally-sounder city by constructing solar power plants on capped landfills has one glaring short-coming, if you ask Borough President James Molinaro:
It fails to capitalize on wind power.
Hours after Mayor Bloomberg announced his updated PlaNYC proposal, Molinaro renewed his call to build an electricity-generating wind farm at the former Fresh Kills landfill – a plan he pitched years ago, but remains in limbo pending approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
In his latest push, which comes on the eve of Earth Day, the BP says a recent study by the New York State Energy and Development Research Authority-sponsored wind developer found turbines can be constructed at the top of the landfill’s four mounds and, if the go-ahead was given today, could be operation within four years.
“My wish for Earth Day 2011 is that we have a wind farm operating at Fresh Kills by Earth Day 2014,” Molinaro said. “All that stands in our way is the common sense understanding of government agency approval.”
Bloomberg’s plan would phase out the use of polluting heavy oils to heat buildings and begin building solar power plants on capped landfills.
While Molinaro is not necessarily a foe of solar power, he skewered the proposal for what he sees as a significant short-coming.
“The just-released update to the PlaNYC does not go far enough,” Molinaro added. “While I do not oppose solar power, and I believe it can certainly play a part of the energy needs of the city, the lack of focus in the update on wind is not acceptable to me.”
According to the developer, seven turbines at Fresh Kills could produce 30 megawatts of energy – enough to meet 6 percent of the borough’s energy needs.