On Friday night, the three companies that responded to the City's RFEI (request for expression of interest) for installing a solar farm somewhere in the vicinity of North Bay made presentations to the Common Council. Only half the aldermen were part of the meeting. Absent were Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward), Shershah Mizan (Third Ward), John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward), Jane Trombley (First Ward), and Malachi Walker (Fourth Ward).
In their responses to the RFEI, all three companies--AC Power, BQ Energy, and Nexamp--expressed a preference for siting the solar farm on the capped landfill, which is being discouraged by the Conservation Advisory Council. In their presentations, they had been tasked by Peter Bujanow, Commissioner of Public Works, with explaining why they had opted for the landfill. All three cited their past experience and expertise in siting solar arrays on landfills and brownfields and made assurances that there was no conflict between trails and solar farms. Paul Curran of BQ Energy warned that opening landfills for public use is risky and declared, "The idea that in time the landfill will be healed . . . it's not going to happen."
The presentations of two of the companies included maps showing where they would site the solar arrays. AC Power would position them all on the capped landfill.
The idea of siting solar panels adjacent to the Hudson Dog Park is not likely to sit well with the many users of the dog park, since it would require the removal of many of the trees that surround the park.
|Photo: Jonathan Simons
The presentations are certain to be a topic of discussion at the next meeting of the Conservation Advisory Council on Tuesday, December 7, and at the informal meeting of the Common Council on Monday, December 13.
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