BROOKLYN, Ohio - Brooklyn Mayor Katie Gallagher has signed a letter of intent to allow a solar farm to be constructed on the city's capped and closed landfill on Memphis Avenue.
The document gives the green light for additional preparation work to proceed, including an environmental analysis by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Brooklyn City Council must sign off on the project before it can go forward.
The solar panels would have to be placed on the landfill in such a way that they would not puncture the protective lining below the surface.
"In order to do anything on a closed landfill" a thorough vetting by the Ohio EPA is required, said Mike Wise, a McDonald Hopkins attorney representing Enerlogics, the Youngstown company that would be the solar farm's developer.
Gallagher said the county and Enerlogics hope to have the EPA review completed by May to have construction begin in July or August.
The cost of the project would be about $8.8 million. The financing would be provided by the developer, the county through payment for power, and a third party, yet to be named, that will reap the renewable tax credits on the project, Wise said.
Brooklyn landfill proposed for solar farm
The county would then buy the four megawatts of electricity generated by the solar farm and use it to power county-owned buildings.
Brooklyn's benefits are threefold, Wise said. The city would get a rent payment of $18,000 a year for 20 years as well as cheaper electricity for its city-owned buildings. The residents would also be able to choose between Cleveland Public Power, which would be extending a utility line to the landfill, or FirstEnergy, for their electricity.
"Right now we're very comfortable going forward with the terms," Gallagher said.
The solar farm would be the first in Cuyahoga County to be built on a landfill. Foley said he would like to see other landfills in the county considered as locations for solar panels.
Putting a solar farm on a landfill is part of a larger agreement between Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Public Power to buy green energy. Also part of the plan is for the county to buy a portion of the electricity that would be generated by a six-turbine wind farm proposed for Lake Erie.
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