Meeting to focus on building solar panel arrays in Port Washington

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North Hempstead town officials will meet Wednesday with the Port Washington community on a proposal to construct solar panel arrays over two shuttered landfills in the area.

The plan, which was the subject of a town board work session last month, calls for a private company to construct two 2-megawatt solar energy-generating plants on the town's two landfills off West Shore Road in Port Washington.

The company, which has not been chosen, would construct and operate the solar array, leasing the properties from the town. The resulting electricity would be fed into the power grid.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, who took office this month, said tonight's meeting at the town's Harbor Links Golf Course is intended to ensure the public is informed.

"I just wanted to make sure the people in the surrounding area have an opportunity to learn about it a little bit," Bosworth said. "I'd love to see it go forward. It seems like a great environmental initiative. I just want it to go forward on the proper procedure."

Once the town receives input from the community, the town board will hold a special meeting on the plan, Bosworth said.

The town must decide soon in order for the company it chooses to meet a Jan. 31 deadline to be included in PSEG Long Island's solar energy program. The utility plans to purchase 100 megawatts of solar energy under the program.

Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who represents Port Washington, said she still had outstanding questions and concerns about the idea to put solar arrays on the landfills.

She said she worried about construction of the panels on the closed landfills, both of which are regulated under the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The older of the two is also a Superfund site.

"I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach," De Giorgio said.

Some residents of Harbor View at Port Washington, one of several communities near the site, said they were happy with the town's move to meet with them.

"If there's a potential impact on where I live, I want to find out about it," Harbor View resident Leslie Wollin said.

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