Solar Plan For Old Landfill

Finch, Timpanelli, Backer, Esty, Marone
Mayor Bill Finch announces the public-private partnership with United Illuminating that will bring solar power and a fuel cell to a long-ago closed City landfill site. Joining the Mayor for the announcement are from left: Paul Timpanelli, executive director of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, State Rep. Terry Backer, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty and Anthony Marone, UI’s Senior Vice President of Customer and Business Services.

News release from Mayor Bill Finch:

The City’s former municipal landfill site will be the future home of a new green energy park, generating clean and renewable energy for the residents and businesses of Bridgeport. Using the landfill as a backdrop, Mayor Bill Finch, State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Esty, and Anthony Marone, United Illuminating (UIL) Senior Vice President of Customer and Business Services unveiled the collaborative public/private effort which will result in the installation of solar panels and a fuel cell at the long-ago closed landfill site.

Creating a green energy park on the former landfill site is one of the initiatives laid out in BGreen 2020, Mayor Finch’s sustainability plan for the City to create jobs, save taxpayers money and fight climate change. This 50-acre renewable energy park, which has the potential to house solar, fuel cells and wind installations, will cut down the City’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are working diligently with public and private partners to transform Bridgeport into a green city, focused on job creation and climate change. Converting a former landfill site into a green energy park that will generate clean, renewable energy for our city is emblematic of our BGreen efforts,” said Mayor Finch. “Thank you to United Illuminating, Governor Malloy and Commissioner Esty for their efforts in helping us create this new green energy park.”

The green energy park is a result of a public/private partnership between the City of Bridgeport and the United Illuminating Company.

Based on United Illuminating’s preliminary analysis, 2.2 megawatts (MW) of Solar Photo Voltaic and 2.8 MW of fuel cell energy are feasible on Bridgeport’s green energy park.

UI’s combined project is estimated to produce 26 Million-kWhs annually, enough to power over 3,000 homes for an entire year. This equates to an installed cost of capacity of approximately $5,000-$5,500 per Kilowatt and a generation cost of approximately $0.12/kWh over the lifetime of the project.

“his program will provide customers with the benefits of clean renewable distributed electric generation built under a regulated cost based framework. Utilizing this approach can ensure our customers that they will receive the energy and environmental value that this facility will generate over its lifetime,” said Anthony Marone, UIL Senior Vice President of Customer and Business Services. “UI (predecessor companies) began generating electricity in Bridgeport more than 125 years ago from two small facilities on John Street and Congress Avenue. This exciting project represents a return to our roots in electric generation.”

State legislation, Section 127 of Public Act 11-80, enacted in 2011, allows Connecticut Local Electric Distribution Companies to build, own and operate renewable electric generation systems from 1 to 5 MW to a total of 10 MW.

“Governor Malloy’s energy strategy for our state is to bring cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable power to our residents and businesses–and this project is consistent with those goals,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). This project brings many benefits by harnessing the potential of clean, renewable power at an attractive price and putting an old landfill site back into productive use. We applaud United Illuminating for this undertaking and thank Mayor Finch for the outstanding commitment he has made to environmental sustainability and sound energy policy.”

United Illuminating Company submitted an application to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for approval to build, own and operate 5 of the 10 megawatts of renewable power in Bridgeport that was allotted to them in the legislation.

Bridgeport’s Green Energy Park will be United Illuminating’s first project built, owned and rate based under the company’s Renewable Connections Program.

The green energy park will also be one of the anchors of Bridgeport’s Eco-Technology Park, located in the City’s South Side and West End neighborhoods, which is currently home to several new “green” businesses including Park City Green, a mattress recycling facility; Flexipave, which recycles tires and turns them into permeable pavement; EnviroExpress, a natural gas filling station, and the largest fuel cell energy park in North America being constructed by FuelCell and Dominion Energy.



  1. Well again, this is not only a great photo opportunity, this is obviously a great plan that could put Bridgeport on the cutting edge supporting new development. Mayor Finch can add this to his positive list that will help enhance his contributions to the City. This may be where the anti-Finch movement accuses me of being a sycophant. I, like all city residents, become the beneficiary of this type of collaborative. Kudos to United Illuminating and the FINCH administration. I am certain even an individual looking to replace Mayor Finch would have to agree this is positive and beneficial to the City and the environment.

    1. Solar power is expensive. Look here:

      $250 for 240 watts (peak) or $1000 a kilowatt. At the residential price of $0.08/kWh you would have to run your solar panels at peak productivity (that only happens on a clear day at noon) for 12,500 hours to pay for themselves. Adjusting this for morning, noon, evening and night you get ~40,000 hours (0 at night and 100% at noon = 12,500 * 2 (number of days to get 24 hours of sunlight) * 1.666 (adjustment for productivity)). Adjusting for bad weather you get ~80,000 hours. This means it will take 9 years for the panels to pay for themselves. They should have put in a wind farm. More power at a lower price.

  2. There is nothing reliable in solar energy. When the sun is down or there’s a week’s worth of bad weather, nothing is produced. We have 200 years of clean energy sources in the US that would get us off the OPEC teat and make us self-sufficient for generations to come until technology catches up with reality. This is nothing more than a political dog and pony show to get votes from environmentalists who don’t fully understand the synergy of economics and energy.

  3. The south-facing side faces Seaside Park. I suppose that’s where we will view the solar farm from? Beautiful. Ruin our assets. Why not put a solar farm in Washington Park too?

  4. It’s nice to be green and my wife Mary and I have been for years; however how many jobs and how much property tax revenue will this project generate for Bridgeport? In addition, when will the blighted buildings along I-95 be removed? That’s what people see when they drive past Bridgeport!

    1. Blighted buildings on I95 need to be redeveloped into great lofts. Bridgeport has great old obsolete factory buildings that would attract young professionals. Just knocking them down? Unless you have a plan for the parcel it is still a part of Bridgeport history. It is not the Mayor’s job to decide the fate of all buildings standing for more than 75 years. Apts. and condos would be a great reuse of some of the 1 million square feet of obsolete manufacturing space in the city.

  5. Once again, Bill is flexing his solar-plexus! He and the City would be better served if he were tilting a beer mug at the Windmill! After all it is still Octobeerfest!


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