Mayor greenlights major solar farm project in south Houston
Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council have given the green light on a project that will convert a 240-acre former landfill in Sunnyside into a brownfield solar installation.
The public-private partnership with Sunnyside Energy LLC. received unanimous approval on a lease agreement that will move the project — which is a part of the City's Climate Action Plan and Complete Communities Initiative — forward.
"The Sunnyside landfill has been one of Houston's biggest community challenges for decades, and I am proud we are one step closer to its transformation," says Mayor Turner in a news release. "I thank the Sunnyside community because this project would not have come together without its support. This project is an example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns holistically, create green jobs and generate renewable energy in the process."
The solar field, which is anticipated to be installed and working by the end of next year, will be able to power 5,000 homes and offset 120 million pounds of CO2 each year, according to the release.
"We applaud the actions of Mayor Turner and the City Council in taking this significant step," says Dori Wolfe, managing director of Sunnyside Energy LLC, in the release. "It is a strong vote of confidence for this impactful project. All members of the project team realize that this Sunnyside Solar facility will be an iconic statement in the rejuvenation of the community. We are grateful that Mayor Turner has given us his support."
The city's involvement with the company began in 2017 when Houston joined the C40 Reinventing Cities Competition – a global competition to promote sustainable energy projects. As a part of the competition and through the city's efforts on the initiative, powers at be selected the winning proposal from Wolfe Energy LLC, which formed Sunnyside Energy LLC to execute the urban solar farm project.
Per the lease agreement, the city of Houston owns the land and Sunnyside Energy will be the tenant responsible for permitting, construction, operation, and more.