A 27-acre privately owned landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park, which was once used by the Town of Smithown for their municipal waste and later became a golf driving range until 2017, is now home to a 4 megawatt solar farm that can power up to 1,000 homes.
The developer nearly walked away from the project when one of the subcontractors, Power Crush of Kings Park, discovered the landfill was never properly capped. When Power Crush Owner Toby Carlson first arrived on the site, municipal waste, including a 1978 copy of the Daily News, was protruding from the landfill’s surface.
After the landfill was closed in 1979, it was supposed to be capped with 6 feet of clay and dirt, but had less than 6’’ of soil across 75% of the site. Understanding the project’s importance, Mr. Carlson donated $1 million in material to make sure the landfill’s cap conformed to New York State DEC regulations. Without his generous donation, the project would not have moved forward.
On June 21, 2019 project owner NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island formally celebrated the launch of the Kings Park Solar Project. At the ceremony, Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta thanked Mr. Carlson for salvaging the project and said, “I wish we could cap other polluted landfills in the area and reuse them for a productive purpose such as this one.”