Fuel Cell Park On Closed Dump Projected To Produce Energy This Fall

energy park
Fuel cell park under construction.

The foundation for Green Energy Park that will include 9,000 solar panels on the closed municipal landfill in the West End of Seaside Park has been installed. City Communications Director Brett Broesder says the project will power an additional 5,000 homes and create roughly 90 jobs. Work is ongoing at the solar site, and the first panels will be installed in early July, according to Broesder.

“Green Energy Park will bring clean energy to thousands of Bridgeport homes,” said Mayor Bill Finch in a news release. “This project is creating 21st century jobs, bringing millions of dollars in revenue for Bridgeport, and ensuring our kids and grandkids breathe cleaner air.”

Under a 20-year lease agreement with United Illuminating, Green Energy Park is expected to generate $7 million in revenue for the city. Broesder says by next month the service entrance equipment will be installed to connect the fuel cell to Bridgeport’s energy grid. Come fall, the fuel cell will be complete and producing energy.

These projects aren’t just good for the environment,” said Finch. “They are good for our economy. They create jobs. They help reduce asthma and breathing ailment rates for kids. They grow our tax base. And, it’s proof that our city can heal from the sins of our past and move toward a cleaner and more prosperous future.”

Green energy projects and the Steel Point redevelopment areas will be economic linchpins for Finch’s reelection campaign. The solar park has its critics including some Black Rock and South End neighbors as well as Republican mayoral candidate Rick Torres who opposes development on park land. Torres asserts the project could have been located someplace else in the city.



  1. We have become accustomed to outrageous claims. Past mayors have made lemonade from lemons. Finch’s ministry of public enlightenment expects us to believe he changes water to wine.
    He is taking credit for reducing asthma. Okay, this is hypothetical.
    Creating 90 jobs? How about providing the basis for this claim? Who are the employers?

    1. At the public siting hearing, UI on the record stated when the plant is built, possibly two jobs will be permanent, for ground maintenance and faculties monitoring, including air quality. They were unsure if they would be city employees or UI employees, TBD. They also noted a company in MA is building most of their solar facilities statewide because the MA company has the experience, equipment and manpower.
      Correct me if I am wrong, but the actual power plant is not on the closed dump AKA the land formerly known as Seaside Park, but on the actual park itself, in the area formerly used for the Vibes to store the semi trucks holding their equipment, right at one of the entrances to the park. Mean Joe Green–Go Green Team!

      1. Jennifer,
        Good job in the “memory” department. Of course projects get tweaked and adjusted, especially if the planning process is extended too long, or alternatively rushed to meet a deadline. However, since no PR flack has returned to object to your recital, it is likely this project is short on jobs, long on benefits for UI, and perhaps performs less well in terms of the millions assumed in the only financial projection used at community review sessions. Time will tell.

  2. While the UI and Bill Finch keep killing our kids!
    No Pollution Controls at the UI plant!

    SO2 Pollution and Pollution Controls

    In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed the Clean Air Act, which regulated the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2), among other forms of pollution. SO2 contributes strongly to acid rain, and causes or exacerbates respiratory illnesses. However, the legislation allowed for exemptions for older power plants. This legislation has been strengthened since then: in 1977, the New Source Review increased compliance by states, while the EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule, passed in 2005, requires a 57% cut in U.S. SO2 emissions by 2015. (Roughly 60% of U.S. SO2 emissions come from coal-fired power plants.) Especially since 2005, many utilities have begun attaching SO2 scrubbers to their coal-fired generating stations. However, many plants still do not have adequate – or even any – SO2 controls.

    According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the following proportions of coal-fired power plants with capacity over 100 MW had SO2 scrubbers in 2005:

  3. Bill Finch’s “green” is not good for Bridgeport and puts no “green” in our pockets.

    Solar panels on a park, replacing trees and creating an eyesore at a scenic sight; “green?”

    Fuel cell plant on the park, adjacent to the beach; “green?”

    90 jobs from the fuel cell plant and energy for 5000 homes? Not for Bridgeport. We’re providing all the energy for a huge region already, and have been for years–Norwalk just decommissioned their power-plant behemoth on their waterfront so they can develop the site. Bridgeport accounts for its energy usage ten times over already. So for whom are we generating power and jobs using more of our water front–and beach areas, no less?!

    Bridgeport is being further taken advantage of by the region under the guise of bought-off-Bill’s “green propaganda machine.”

    Go away, Ms. Secrest. Go away, Brett. Go away, David. Go away, Bill.

    Real “green” for Bridgeport would be Bridgeport-manufactured alternative energy equipment used on Bridgeport homes and businesses to get us off the grid while creating an example of green energy independence for the world while employing thousands of Bridgeporters and rebuilding our tax base.

    Bill’s green is bile-green, closer to bs-brown.

    Next thing, Brett and Ms. Secrest will want to rename Seaside Park “Fuel Cell Park.”

    P.T. would be proud!

  4. Anybody driven past Newark on I-95? This is what the city is going to look like if nothing is done. What destination city is going to arise from that view? Oh I forgot, Bass Pro Shops.

  5. The “alternative” energy systems such as solar are environmentally disastrous. They cause loss of ecosystems, destruction of wildlife, sterilization of land, inordinate cost that may not be retrieved during the life of the system, and the emission of huge amounts of CO2 during construction. Also solar power is not efficient. They can’t provide 24/7 base-load power and need backup by coal-burning carbon dioxide-emitting electricity generating plants. Germany is an prime example. They shut down eight reliable and 100% clean nuclear power stations because of the “Green” movement pressure. And although Germany has a huge solar and wind generation industry, the unreliability of those ideological power sources is such that they have now increased its CO2 emissions by building new thermal coal-power stations. German electricity prices are now almost twice those of the US, and it is hurting. Ironically, the coal boom in Germany is a result of the “green’s” political success.

    1. I cannot find data to verify German power is twice the cost of US power. I can find and have posted, in an effort to reduce consumption of energy, both energy efficient products are on the market, and a surcharge is added to electric consumption to fund their pension plans.

  6. I am in favor of every renewable energy initiative. I am not in favor of the location or the liability placed on the city. Renewable energy technology and efficiency is rapidly advancing and changing. It would seem this report by a German company is addressing the issues, progress and solutions to their very successful solar and wind energy programs. May UI study and learn from their success.
    www .ise.fraunhofer.de/en/publications/veroeffentlichungen-pdf-dateien-en/studien-und-konzeptpapiere/recent-facts-about-photovoltaics-in-germany.pdf

  7. “Climate Change; The Facts”
    The science and politics of climate change, by Ian Plimer
    “Wind farms produce less than 30% of their nameplate capacity, often at times of low electricity demand and low electricity prices. No carbon dioxide-emitting coal-fired thermal power station has been replaced by a wind farm. Reliable, tried and proven, low-cost, efficient electricity generation from coal is needed as backup because most of the time the wind does not blow or blows too strongly. Coal-fired power stations take 24 hours to fire up and they can’t be turned off and on depending upon whether the wind decides to blow or not. In still cold weather, wind farms consume electricity from coal-fired power stations to stop lubricants from freezing.”

  8. These higher costs were ultimately pushed onto the German consumer. According to the article, Germany’s CO2 And Energy Policy–About To Falter?:
    Since the introduction of the “Renewable Energy” law (EEG) in 2000 aimed at replacing coal and gas-fired as well as nuclear power generation by so-called renewable energy sources, the household price for electricity has jumped by more than 200%. German customers now pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe. At the same time, the task of stabilizing the grid against the massive erratic influx from solar and wind power plants that produce without regard for actual need has pushed the operators to their limits. Now already, with a combined share of just some 13% of total electricity production, their unreliable input is massively imperiling the stability of the grid.
    Another major problem with Wind & Solar is the balancing of electricity on the grid when wind stops blowing and the sun goes down. You see, when solar power production drops to nothing as the sun goes down, the regional utility companies have to bring online electricity to balance out what was lost.
    This wasn’t much of a problem when solar and wind were only a small part of the electric power generation pie. However, now that the total amount of generated solar and wind power account for 13% of Germany’s electricity, it’s become a BIG PROBLEM … and will only get worse as more renewable sources are added.
    Germany decided to shut down eight of its Nuclear Power Plants after the disaster at Fukushima. Unfortunately, renewable energy isn’t filling the void. To make up the difference … in come the COAL MONSTERS.

  9. Good for you, Bill, the UB’s fuel cell has been up and running for about three months. The University of Bridgeport is seeing significant difference in our use, I hope you achieve the same thing for the city of Bridgeport.


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