James Corner Unveils Plans to Build NYC’s Largest Solar Energy Installation into Fresh Kills Park

James Corner Unveils Plans to Build NYC’s Largest Solar Energy Installation into Fresh Kills Park

Fresh Kills Park, once the world’s biggest landfill, is once again making waves thanks to outgoing Mayor Bloomberg’s recent announcement to add 35,000 solar panels to Fresh Kills Park. Nearly three times the size of Central Park, Fresh Kills is an ongoing large-scale reclamation project in Staten Island led by James Corner Field Operations. Slated to “become a showcase (of) urban renewal and sustainability,” the park will soon be home to New York’s largest source of solar power.

The solar installation would be capable of generating up to 10 megawatts of power – enough to run about 2,000 homes. According to a statement by the Office of the Mayor, the solar array will double the City’s current renewable energy capacity. The renewable energy investment is also part of the PlaNYC initiative, NYC’s long-term sustainability blueprint to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

From the press release

“Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world. Soon it will be one of the City’s largest parks, and the site of the largest solar power installation ever developed within the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Over the last twelve years we’ve restored wetlands and vegetation and opened new parks and soccer fields at the edges of the site. Thanks to the agreement today we will increase the amount of solar energy produced in New York City by 50 percent and it is only fitting that Freshkills, once a daily dumping ground, will become a showcase urban renewal and sustainability.”

Fresh Kills Park represents a 30 year process by which New York City plans to change a massive collection of it’s own refuse into a rolling landscape equipped with ample active open space adjacent to one of the densest places in the modern world. The plan consists of 6 phases that outline both the process of trash decomposition and management as well as the establishment of staged plant communities. 

You can read more about the history of this park’s development here.

Photos courtesy of James Corner Field Operations

Published in Blog
Benjamin Boyd is a landscape architect practicing in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ben often tweets about landscape at @_benboyd.


  1. Why do we have to destroy the scenic park with solar eyesores when they are better suited to the thousands of unused rooftops in NYC and beyond?

  2. Fresh Kills is a massive reclaimed landfill a bit more than it is a scenic park. Implementation on all the rooftops of NYC is much more complicated than using a small piece of formally derelict land to make the city more sustainable. I believe that the solar panels would be much more of an eyesore in the city anyhow and they would not be able to harvest as much energy in small arrays amongst skyscrapers.

Leave a Reply

Lost Password