Staten Island is back in the spotlight—or should we say “sunlight”? On Monday, November 25th, it was announced that SunEdison, a company that deals with solar energy services, will be leasing forty-seven acres of land within Staten Island’s Freshkills Park. Upon this land, the company plans to operate a solar power facility capable of generating up to ten megawatts of power—at no cost to the city. Apparently, this facility will have the ability to power 2,000 homes, with five times the capacity of any other solar energy system within New York City.
The installation of almost 35,000 solar panels is expected to begin by the end of 2015, increasing the amount of solar energy produced in the city by fifty percent. The solar panels will certainly play a role in the PlaNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York City by thirty percent by 2030. If all goes according to plan, we can see these solar panels all up and run by 2016.
According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Freshkills Park is the largest park to be developed within the city in excess of one hundred years. Once it is open to the public in its entirety, Freshkills Park will bring Staten Island’s total parkland to 8,822 acres, and the city’s parkland to over 30,000 acres.