Manresa Island Proposal
Manresa Island in Norwalk, CT is home to a decommissioned coal and oil plant and and contains an abundance of biodiversity. The island is composed of two parcels, North and South, with 92 acres of filled wetlands, and 46 acres for the power plant and other structures. NRG Energy purchased Manresa Island from Connecticut Light & Power in 1999, and has been overseen by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) ever since the plant was decommissioned in 2013. The vacant land is now under consideration as the site of a future solar array.
Other Connecticut cities have seen the need to invest in the state’s future in a similar manner. A former dump-site in Seaside Park, Bridgeport, is now an 11 acre solar farm, among the largest solar installations in Connecticut, providing clean and affordable energy for over 300 homes. The Seaside project took an unfortunately situated waste site and transformed it into a beautiful and productive area for the people of Bridgeport.
Many decisions have yet to be made on the future of Manresa Island. If 12 of the 46 shorefront acres on Manresa Island are used for a solar array, it would produce 2.5 megawatts, which could power 400 homes.
A Note From Our President :
As you are very much aware the temperature rise, not only locally and nationally, but globally, is causing great human and natural disasters. Who knows where next?
We all do know that the burning of fossil fuels and the carbon in the air is very much responsible for the heating up of our planet.
Here we have a very small but unique opportunity to make a contribution to renewing a healthier planet.
Please let us have your thoughts, but most important, your action
- Roma Stibravy, President
Though ambitious in policy, Connecticut falls short in its adoption of renewable energy. The Solar Foundation reports that Connecticut’s solar companies accounted for one of every 1,655 jobs statewide, which is below the national rate of one solar job for every 1,300 jobs. Connecticut made the top 10 for only one out of 11 categories studied by the Solar Foundation, falling just behind New Jersey in the category of schools in the Northeast converting to solar energy.
There would be many other benefits of constructing a Manresa solar array too. Demolishing the current structures and constructing a solar array would satisfy NRG’s, the current owner of the Island, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and their implementation of the United Nations Global Compact Principles, to which they have adhered. A solar array would also meet the Manresa Association’s objectives for the environmental safety of the property for humans and creatures, open space, and physical beauty.
A solar array would also provide much needed energy and price security to Norwalk residents. The cost of fossil fuels constantly fluctuate and may not always be readily available to generate the electricity needed. The sun is a natural power source that needs to be harnessed for the betterment and sustainability of our planet. Tax dollars will be saved by having a more efficient way of powering residential communities and remediation costs for the island will be reduced due to the fact that only 2 feet of clean soil is needed to construct a solar array on polluted areas.
The responsibility for Connecticut’s renewable energy progress has moved past local action. Business, government and the community must together ignite the change needed to push Connecticut past the 40% goal line. Using Manresa Island is the perfect opportunity to turn a highly polluted region into a sustainable, money saving, job creating energy facility, while meeting the new legislation and improving the quality of life for Fairfield County residents.
In order for Norwalk, the surrounding towns, and Fairfield County to meet the demands of the new climate legislation, consideration should be given to the 92 remaining acres for a solar array producing 5.0 megawatts or more that could possibly power thousands of homes.
As a member of the Manresa Association, we are committed to advocating for this solar energy facility.