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Solar Proposal For Closed Landfill Moves Forward

Feasibility study could be compiled by late September.

Clarkstown Town Board Member George Hoehmann (R-Nanuet) says the town is moving ahead with a feasibility study for generating solar power at the closed West Nyack landfill.

Hoehmann says a July meeting with town officials and Orange & Rockland (O&R) representatives determined that the state’s Remote Net Metering Law would support the project.

“The good thing about the meeting with O&R is that it can be done,” says Hoehmann, who has been promoting solar power for the town for several years.

The feasibility study requires additional information from O&R and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. An outside engineer is preparing the study, which will determine the cost of installing a solar array and the potential return on investment. Hoehmann says the study which he hopes will be completed by the end of September, has to make financial sense.

“It (return on investment) should produce at least what the payments would be on a bond,” he explains. “The feasibility study is really the key piece to tell us if it will work or not.” 

Hoehmann has suggested a one- to three-megawatt solar field on four sloped acres of the former landfill that face east toward Route 303.

The Remote Net Metering Law allows municipalities to produce electricity through systems such as solar arrays, which can then be directly connected to the power grid. In Clarkstown’s case, it would receive credit for the electricity generated from O&R. The credit could be applied to offset electricity used in town-owned facilities. Under current rates, Hoehmann says electricity worth several hundred thousand dollars would be produced annually.

The 100-acre landfill along Rout 303 officially closed in 1992. A portion of it is used as a model airplane flying field.

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