CP going solar?

It may still be years away, but the Town of Clifton Park is one step closer to bringing a solar array power station to the town's capped landfill. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the town board unanimously approved a letter of intent committing the town to enter into negotiations with Energenics Systems LLC for a long-term lease on the landfill.

The landfill has been capped for a number of years, said Supervisor Phil Barrett, and once that happens the town is very limited as to what it can do with the property. About a year-and-a-half ago, Barrett said the town began looking into the possibility of bringing a solar field to the landfill. Basically, solar panels would be placed on top of the landfill to generate energy for town operations and at some point, said Barrett, hopefully sell energy back to the grid.

Energenics, the company tapped by the town to work with it on the project, would incur all costs for the multi-million dollar project and pay the town for the right to lease the land, said Barrett.

The process started with a feasibility study that analyzed whether it was even possible, from an engineering standpoint, to construct a solar field on the landfill. The study also assessed whether the town would benefit economically by such a project and if given its location in upstate New York (an area some might not believe synonymous with excessively sunny conditions, said Barrett) will be able to attract the type of clean energy that would be necessary to make the project viable.

All those questions have been answered, so we feel very positive about the project based on that, said Barrett.

There are still a lot of steps to go through before the "groundbreaking" project can begin, though. Now that Energenics has a written letter of intent from the town, it can begin pitching to potential investors to come up with the cash to start implementing.

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