Located at the former Emerson Street Landfill, the new solar field holds more than 7,800 solar panels that will generate approximately 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The field was built and will be owned and operated by AES Distributed Energy of Boulder, Colo., which is working with Solar Liberty of Buffalo as its subcontractor. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided financial support to the project.
“This solar field will save taxpayer money, but more importantly it will help us protect the environment for future generations by reducing our carbon footprint,” said Mayor Warren. “I want to thank the New York State Energy and Research and Development Authority and all of the agencies in Governor Cuomo’s administration for helping us make Rochester a more sustainable city, which helps us create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens. I also want to congratulate the solar field’s owners and operators, AES Distributed Energy, on the construction of this facility and wish them luck as we work together to generate renewable energy for City facilities.”
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Congratulations to the City of Rochester for having the vision to turn a former hazardous waste site into an environmental and economic success story. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, local communities are leading the way in embracing opportunities like this to improve their environment and fight global climate change.”
“We are extremely excited to be a part of a project that found a use for land that has sat vacant for close to 40 years and now houses a solar facility which will deliver cleaner energy for this community for years to come,” said Jeff Palmer of AES Distributed Energy, Boulder, Colorado. “We look forward to a successful long-term relationship with the city of Rochester and helping the city meet their sustainability goals.”
The 7-acre site has been vacant since 1972 and was recently removed from New York State’s list of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites, making the project an excellent example of the successful reuse of a brownfield site for the production of renewable energy.
The pad for the solar field was constructed by the city, re-using iron slag excavated during construction of the Port of Rochester Marina, saving the City $4 million in landfill disposal costs.
In the first year alone, the Solar Field is expected to displace the emissions of approximately 2,300 tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from close to 500 passenger vehicles driven for one year or the burning of 12 rail cars of coal.
The solar field will move the city closer to the goals laid out in its Climate Action Plan and Energy Plan, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2040.