It started out as an idea for bringing in new revenue by monetizing vacant and unusable City-owned land, but the solar farm project has taken on a life of its own. The RFEI (request for expressions of interest) has received responses from three companies--BQ Energy Development, Nexamp, and AC Power LLC. The Common Council has scheduled a special meeting on Friday, November 19, at 5:00 p.m., to hear presentations from the three companies.
At the meeting of the Conservation Advisory Council on Tuesday, David Konigsberg reported that all three companies were interested in the capped landfill, which is not the area they were allegedly supposed to be considering and not the area the CAC was encouraging. In a statement submitted to the Common Council on the day the Council approved the release of the RFEI, the CAC stated: "We recommend that the capped landfill and surrounding grassland be excluded from any industrialization, including solar arrays, and that, as planned in prior deliberation, these areas continue to heal and gradually be developed as open recreational space in a city that has very little." The statement from the CAC was accompanied by an image showing the areas the CAC was recommending for solar development. Those areas are marked in fuchsia on the image below.
Despite the opposition from the CAC, the response from BQ Energy states, "We are proposing that part of our project be located on the Columbia County landfill"; Nexamp's response states, "It immediately became apparent that the most advantageous approach for development would be a landfill solar approach, focused on utilizing the capped City landfill in the Northeast section of the development area"; AC Power's response states, "AC Power would like to propose the utilization of the County owned landfill adjacent to Parcel I, known as the North Bay Landfill or Hudson Landfill . . . for redevelopment."
If the purpose of the solar farm is to bring new revenue to the City, siting the solar farm on the capped landfill would defeat the purpose, since that land is currently controlled by Columbia County and the revenue would presumably to the County not the City.
The meeting at which the three developers will make presentations takes place on Friday, November 19, at 5:00 p.m. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
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