Siting Council Approves Solar Plan On Former Seaside Park Dump

News release from Mayor Bill Finch:

Today, the Connecticut Siting Council approved Bridgeport’s Green Energy Park–consisting of 9,000 solar panels and a 2.8Mw fuel cell atop an old and unused landfill–giving a final regulatory green light for the clean energy project to commence. The project has also received approval from the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), the Bridgeport Parks Commission, and the Bridgeport City Council.

The Siting Council voted 6-1 in favor of the solar project and 7-0 in favor of the fuel cell facility.

Green Energy Park will create up to 92 jobs. It will bring in $7 million in tax revenue to the city during its 20 year lease. It will produce enough clean energy to power 5,000 homes. And, because it produces virtually pollutant free energy, it will help kids breathe cleaner air. This is particularly important in Bridgeport where kids suffer from asthma and breathing ailment rates that are 3 times the state average.

With today’s decision, United Illuminating can now move forward with design and procurement of key elements of the project. Before breaking ground, the utility company must submit an updated development and management plan to the Siting Council, which is normal procedure. Given the time of year this decision was made, United Illuminating can complete the plan and will likely have approval by the spring, and they’ll likely be ready to begin construction without delay.

Mayor Bill Finch–who championed the Green Energy Park project that United Illuminating will oversee, execute, and maintain–stated that the project is another example of the state’s largest city building for the future.

“This is great news and serves as further proof that Bridgeport’s getting better every day,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The overwhelming support this project has received at the federal, state, and local level is simple: We have an old, polluted, and dormant landfill. With Green Energy Park, we’re making use of this old dump by making it a bastion for green job creation, making it a tax revenue generator for the city that powers thousands of home with clean energy, while also ensuring that our kids breathe cleaner air.”



  1. I hope Bill Finch is happy with the legacy he is creating here. Desecrating Seaside Park, decimating the value of the only decent tax base Bridgeport’s got in Black Rock and proving his total disregard of the ramifications of his actions. Drink that at Starbucks, Bill.

  2. Bill Finch is one nasty son of a bitch when it comes to his bullshit green machine. He is going to open up a very polluted landfill that will expose workers to unseen toxins and guess what, we are responsible.
    To show how low this shithead will go, he even mentions the children of Bridgeport and their high incidence of asthma.
    Where are all these jobs coming from? They are construction jobs that will be here for awhile then leave when the job is done. Where is the guarantee this new electricity source will reduce the use of the coal burning plant? This new project will not benefit the kids of Bridgeport.
    There was no surprise by the ruling of the siting council, they were already bought and paid for by Malloy.

  3. From a UI Grid Engineer:
    The power gird cannot handle the four hours (and only four hours due to fixed south-facing Solar Panels) power supplied by currently installed solar panels. Peak demand is in the evening, when the south-facing panels supply no power. UI is a monopoly–thanks to our CT State elected officials who voted special legislation to allow UI to build renewable power facilities–solar fields–and the Federal Elected officials who voted to allow homeowners (who can afford it) solar panels on their homes at a greatly reduced rate with (our) tax dollar incentives. The solar power back to the grid is unstable and UI does not have the infrastructure to support this morning power surge. The UI engineer said every homeowner with solar panels should install a battery power facility in their home, then they would truly be off the grid, and as we are all without power they would have power. However the power company promotes the propaganda the individual battery facility in homes is not desirable, because UI can sell the homeowners power at a much higher rate. (Thanks government for your tax incentives for clean energy production to corporations.)

    The current rate hike request:
    The 25% increase request of our current electric bills is due to the need of UI to upgrade and manage the power grid, especially with all the new solar fields (south-facing, fixed–four hours of increased power every morning) in CT coming on line.
    Homeowners with solar panels in Black Rock report a low of $5.00 per month and a high of $17.00 per month electric bills after installing solar panels.
    It is truly the poor who will suffer the most with the rate increase. Renters with electric heat and bills averaging $200.00 or more per month, the 25% will hit them harder than homeowners with solar panels at $17.00 per month.
    UI estimates, after construction, two UI employees will work at the Solar Panel and fuel cell plant at Seaside Park.
    The engineer estimated, with fixed south-facing solar panels, on June 21 if the sky is clear, on that day, and only that day the most homes this site will power is about 750 for 4 hours. December 21, the number is 0 for homes powered.
    There is absolutely no long-term thinking or planning by UI and ANY of our legislative body who supported UI in their quest to reap the 30% tax benefits (that expire in 2016) in building the five solar fields scheduled to be built in CT.
    The clean energy surcharge, which is in addition to the requested 25% rate hike, is estimated at just under $6.00 per month for the Bridgeport Solar Field and Plant. Remember to add additional per-facility surcharge for the much larger solar plants currently under construction in CT.
    UI is guaranteed, as approved by PURA, a minimum 8.75% profit on all these facilities, no matter how badly UI manage their clean energy power plants, their expenses, their shareholder dividends, and no matter how many days we are without power.
    No win for the consumer, huge win for UI.

  4. I’ve been an electrician for over 40 years I can truly say Jennifer Buchanan has no idea what she is talking about. She is cherry picking her info and presenting it as facts, the grid is more than satisfactory for handing the power generated by the solar farm, if it’s not UI will upgrade it. Peak demand for power has always been during the day not at night, lighting, heating, A/C etc. etc. And as far as the solar panels generating electricity, it works by the amount of sunlight being captured by the panels and follows a bell curve peaking when maximum light hits the panels, this is provided by Mother Nature, not the hot air from Black Rock.

  5. The proposal, review and decision-making on this project are complete and 9,000 solar panels will be installed. It is time for supporters and opponents of the project to now see:
    ** The actual usable energy produced annually and the pricing of it. Did it meet the projections?
    ** Were the fiscal results for the City as projected? Or did they fall short in the out years for reasons not addressed initially?
    ** Let us pray no calamity, injury or disease may befall any member of the community due to the nature of the materials that have been settling and leaching for years. What will the financial results of the City contractual liability be for anything that may negatively occur? Time will tell.


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