The Green Energy Park solar initiative is expected to earn Bridgeport, Conn., more than $7 million in tax revenue over its 20-year lease with United Illuminating Co., according to Mayor Bill Finch.
Groundbreaking for the project, which consists of 9,000 solar panels and a 2.8-megawatt fuel cell atop an old landfill at Seaside Park, is expected in early February. Finch said the park would create up to 92 jobs.
Renewable energy tax credits, which Congress extended last month, helped make the project possible, said Finch. While the extension preserves critical tax benefits for clean energy through Dec. 31, 2016, the mayor and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal last week called for making the tax-credit program permanent.
The solar on the landfill project represents one of 14 such projects now in place or being developed in 146,000-population Bridgeport, Connecticut's most populous city. When all are complete, the collective annual reduction in pollution will equate to taking 643 passenger vehicles off the road or taking 446 homes off the grid.
The fuel cell at Green Energy Park will be one of three in the city, including the largest in North America, according to Finch.