Union Vale's old landfill converted into solar farm
One Dutchess County town is seeing green with a new clean energy source.
A landfill in Union Vale has now been converted into a solar field.
"It's a win-win tax wise. It's a win-win use of land, repurposing, renewable energy. We just couldn't find anything wrong with it," says Union Vale Town Supervisor Betsy Maas.
The nearly 12-acre solar farm found its home on top of the town's old landfill – which has been capped and unused for years along Route 55.
"And we were thrilled to hear from the engineer the day of the ribbon-cutting when they were looking at everything and he was checking his gages. He said we were producing energy for 1,000 houses that day -- of the ribbon-cutting. It makes you feel good," Maas says.
She adds that the solar farm's benefits include tax revenue for the town, as well as 10% annual savings on electricity for the town and those residents who subscribe.
Residents agree that it is beneficial to them as well as the environment.
"I think it's beautiful that at a local level a town board can push something that helps address climate change that you can't get at the national level because there are too many competing interests," says resident Dennis Dunning.
Maas says the solar company is under a 20-year lease with the town, so future officials can convert the land to something else if need be.