An idea that seemed far-fetched a few years ago to put windmills on the old Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island may be moving forward at a “pretty fast” pace, city officials said Thursday night.
“Our teams were together just two days ago poring over a map of the landfill to identify what are the spaces [where] we think this is feasible to do,” said city Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway.
He was one of a host of city commissioners who joined Mayor Bloomberg for a civic meeting at the Richmond County Country Club where someone asked if the windmills could become a reality.
The answer, Holloway said, will come from private energy companies that will soon be invited to submit proposals to generate solar or wind power on city land – at Fresh Kills and at other sites around the city.
“Our goal is to get a solicitation out to private developers and we’re going to ask them,” Holloway said.
“We’re going to let the market tell us – solar? wind? What is a carbon-neutral way to generate energy there that we think can work?”
Bloomberg set a goal in 2008 of using wind power to generate 10% of the city’s electrical needs.
“We have a whole strategy to develop renewables in the city and it’s pretty exciting. So you’re going to see movement on this pretty fast,” Holloway said.
The windmill proposal has long been a pet campaign of Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro who Bloomberg praised as a forward-thinker.
“I can’t tell you the number of things he has worked on that everybody else jokes about and nobody else does anything,” Bloomberg said.
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