Planning Commission approves Meriden solar panel project

Published: February 26, 2014 | Last Modified: February 26, 2014 
By Dan Brechlin Record-Journal staff

A plan to place three acres of solar panels on the city’s landfill is moving forward after the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project at a special meeting, Wednesday afternoon.

The long-discussed solar panel project will bring about 4,200 solar panels to the landfill that stands on the Meriden-Wallingford town line on Evansville Avenue. Originally proposed in 2012, the financing for the project was given the green light in late 2013. The city is partnering with Greenskies Renewable Energy, a Middletown-based firm, to put to privately-owned panels on the landfill and sell the energy back to Meriden over a 20-year span.
“It’s a great project using energy and lowering emissions and it makes use of the landfill, which is otherwise unused,” said Assistant City Planner Tom Skoglund.

The project will also save the city money, with estimates of the city saving between $870,000 and $2.3 million over the 20-year span. During that time, Greenskies guarantees that the panels will perform at at least 80 percent of their capabilities. The panels would generate would generate renewable photovoltaic energy, which would offset energy costs associated with running the neighboring water pollution control facility on Evansville Avenue.