State Officials Review Solar Park Plan On Old Dump

Seasides olar panels
State officials and neighborhoods leaders tour solar panel proposal area on former dump. CT Post photo Brian Pounds.

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The fight over a United Illuminating plan to install 9,000 solar panels atop the closed Seaside Park dump brought the Connecticut Siting Council to town Thursday.

The utility regulatory body took a field trip from New Britain to the Park City, touring the waterfront landfill, getting feedback from the public and, most importantly, launching an evidentiary hearing to grill the key players.

On the one side of the City Hall hearing room sat a handful of UI attorneys, staff and expert witnesses prepared to answer Council members’ questions and defend the project. Members of Mayor Bill Finch’s staff and the city attorney’s office were also present.

Full story here.



  1. I was not present for the visit by the Siting Council so my info is secondhand. However, it is interesting in Bridgeport when someone is part of a group and claims to speak for them.

    One of my Council persons has pursued the subject of solar at this location in Seaside Park and has made persuasive arguments for a different location to support green initiatives. He has spoken to the issue and has taken time to answer questions over the months as new info becomes available. That is Rick Torres.

    I understand my other Council representative stated she speaks for the people of Black Rock and they support the project as is and as negotiated by Mayor Finch. Were any folks from Black Rock part of Councilwoman Brannelly’s pro-solar advocacy? But Sue who is a great follower of Mayor Bill Finch no matter the cause, and who does not open the floor when she is in charge to questions, compliments or other commentary (as this past Monday night when she would not recognize me at a Budget & Appropriations meeting). If there is a question as to where she will vote, look to Bill Finch and not to those who are in her district.

    I am still concerned about the specific cash flows to the City and from taxpayers. The way I understand it is UI customers will get to pay more in their bills; the solar power produced will not necessarily be used for Bridgeport customers; and the nature of the payments can be affected negatively by technology changes or the project becoming inefficient. Do not bank on the 20-year figure. It is not a guarantee for the City. Whereas with the abatements being voted upon, they are guarantees for the property owners they will pay less for 10-40 years while the services they enjoy may be costing much more.

    And a leader of one local NRZ may have left an impression NRZs citywide have taken a position on the issue. Not true. The matter has not been voted upon at either the Black Rock NRZ or the Citywide leadership NRZ, and, it’s just a guess, by any other NRZ. Curious how “leaders” can leave a confusing trail to listeners on occasion. Time will tell.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t UI one of our largest leaseholders or renters in this city? If so why couldn’t they use existing locations for this project? Also, if they decided to scrap the plan for the solar panels would they (UI) still be allowed to be the decisionmaker on any future plans for this plot of land?

    1. UI has considered 10 sites for this project, one of the sites is their property on Pine Street next to 95. In order for approval from PURA, UI must have complete control of the site for this project–so yes, for 20 years UI has complete control of the landfill, however we own the liability for anything that happens on the landfill. Sweet deal for UI.

  3. The NRZ leader I mention above (without name because the message was related to me by someone who did not clearly remember his name) is a representative of the South End NRZ. There has been some discussion, confusion and research into the South End NRZ board activities and official representation. The issue was handed to the City Attorney’s office for further study. I am not sure it has emerged from that process at this time. Time will tell.

  4. The Archbishop of the SNRZ, Church of the Province of West Africa, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop of The Anglican Church of Australia, Evangelical State Church in Prussia, United Evangelical Church in Polish Upper Silesia. The most Reverend (You can fool some of the people most of the time) Dr. C McCluster.

  5. John,
    There is not much confusion. The South End NRZ is operating illegally. To date, the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has not received a draft of the South End’s NRZ’s strategic plan, which is step one in becoming an NRZ.

    In addition, they are continuing to hold regular meetings despite not having official recognition from the state. Adding to this, they have at least five individuals on the Board who have gone over their time limits (by about a year), and they have frozen elections as of December 2013.

    In addition, in the Fall of 2013, the South End NR Board allegedly voted in favor of the Bridgeport Housing Authority’s multimillion dollar housing development across from the Webster Bank Arena. An FOI request was filed and minutes from this alleged meeting never turned up. In fact, at least two members on the Board indicated this meeting never took place. The week after this alleged vote was presented to the Office of Planning and Zoning, the Chair of the South End NRZ is on record saying he has a financial interest with the developer.

    Fast forward to this year. The Chair of the South End NRZ indicated the NRZ supports the solar panel issue without the Board even taking a vote (although the Board is operating illegally anyway). And now, allegedly the city-wide NRZ supports the solar panel issue?

    There have been so many irregularities and it is now all being investigated.


Leave a Reply