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Special Report: Landfills

Renewable Energy Company to Install Five Solar Landfill Projects in Connecticut

Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, a Middletown, Conn.-based solar energy company, is in the process of installaing five photovoltaic solar projects at five different Connecticut landfills.

Each of the solar arrays will be a fully ballasted, ground-mounted system designed to protect the existing landfill caps and leave them undisturbed, James Desantos, Greenskies’ vice president of business development and government relations said in a statement. The five arrays will produce about 4.9 megawatts of clean electric energy, he said.

The five projects include an 809-kilowatt installation in Ansonia, a 1.4-megawatt array in Clinton, a 1.3-megawatt installation in Fairfield, a 1.1-megawatt system in Meriden and a 311-kilowatt solar array in North Haven.

The North Haven project will be completed in early spring 2016.

“Our goal is to create a virtual meter network to offset the energy costs at the largest energy usage facility that we have, the Water Pollution Control Authority,” says Michael Freda, first selectman (mayor) of the town of North Haven.

The park will produce .384 megawatts of power and the goal is to expand that over time to 1 megawatt. The project will reduce the town’s current energy costs by $1.2 million over an 18-year period through the generation of solar power.

“This solar project has been an initiative of ours for the past three years and it came about through our desire to identify unproductive land that the town owns and to attempt to turn that unused and unproductive land into a productive usage,” says Freda. “At the same time that we were identifying land that we wanted to transform, we were working on several energy initiatives in town with our clean Energy Taskforce.”

Under the power-purchase agreements Greenskies has entered with each town, the company has designed, developed, financed, own and maintain each of the solar installations for the next 20 years while the respective municipalities agree to purchase 100 percent of the electricity produced at the sites at a fixed and significantly discounted rate.

The electric power generated at the North Haven site will be used to power the municipalities’ on-site water treatment facilities, Desantos said.

“Solar power became of great interest to us and we started interviewing companies who could install and create a solar park. The old town landfill was one of the sites that we identified as a possibility to build a solar park because that old landfill was closed down in 1991 after having been used for 30 years,” says Freda.

Greenskies is a seven-year-old company that designs, builds and maintains solar photovoltaic systems for corporate and retail clients, municipalities and government agencies, educational institutions and utilities throughout the United States.

“We selected the company Greenskies who has had a great deal of experience in solar and we entered into a power purchase agreement with them where they build the park and are responsible for all maintenance and we make a commitment to purchase the power generated for a 18 year period,” says Freda. 

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