Will State Agency Approve Public Hearing For Solar Plan?

landfill NatGeo
Looking north into Black Rock Harbor from the summit of the old dump for proposed solar park. Photograph by Jackson Kuhl, National Geographic.

Jennifer Buchanan, co-host of the weekly Bridgeport Now cable access show, is the latest Black Rock resident to petition the Connecticut Siting Council for a public hearing regarding the planned United Illuminating solar park on the city’s closed dump in the West End of Seaside Park. The state agency’s authority includes jurisdiction over power facilities and transmission lines.

Please consider this a request for a public review and hearing regarding the UI request to instal over 9000 solar panels and a power battery factory encompassing approximately 60 acres of both park land and the land fill section of Sea Side Park.

I am especially interested in seeing how UI will demonstrate their claims of the non intrusive, almost invisible to the eye–8 foot fence to surround this site, keeping the open space currently at the park, and the mayor’s statements that this facility will be seen clearly from I 95, about 1 mile from this site.

The Connecticut Siting Council is a final step for greenlighting the project approved by the Bridgeport Parks Commission and City Council that calls for a 20-year lease agreement between the city and United Illuminating for the installation of 9,000 solar panels.

Last year Mayor Bill Finch announced a city partnership with United Illuminating for the Green Energy Park renewable energy project, one of the initiatives proposed in the City’s BGreen 2020 sustainability plan to create jobs, save taxpayers money and fight climate change.

Last week Melanie Bachman, staff attorney and acting executive director of the Connecticut Siting Council, announced that parties requesting a public hearing should email siting.council@ct.gov.

Bachman explained the application for approval is now within a 30-day review by Siting Council staff  “so there will be no action on the petition by the Siting Council during this time period. However, this is an appropriate time for the submission of written comments and requests for a public hearing.”


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