Lansing Residents Hear Plans For Cayuga Power Plant, Landfill

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Neighbors learned details of a plan to convert a coal-burning power plant into a data center and solar farm. The plant is on the Cayuga Lake shore in Lansing, just north of Ithaca.

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio

Jerry Goodenough, Vice President of Development at Heorot Power, the company that operates the Cayuga Power Plant. June 26, 2019 (Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio)

During a public hearing, company Vice President of Development Jerry Goodenough  and another representative, John Mirabella explained their plans. They said the coal plant will be mothballed, but not demolished.  Instead, they hope to find other uses for the buildings.

Lansing native Stephanie Redmond supports the plan but worries about the landfill’s long-term environmental impacts. A landfill, which contains coal ash, sits on the property.

“I’m concerned about the coal ash landfill,” she said. “I do think that that needs further remediation. It’s definitely old technology that was used.”

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Media

Stephanie Redmond grew up in Lansing, New York. She’s supports the new plans for the old power plant but worries about the long term effects of the coal ash landfill on the site.

Goodenough said the company will monitor the landfill for 30 years and has set aside a $7-million bond for remediation.  Still. Redmond would like to see more done.

Earlier plans to convert the power plant to natural gas faced strong opposition from residents, activists, as well as town and county government officials. 

Fossil Free Tompkins was among the groups that opposed re-opening the plant using any fossil fuels.  Coordinate Irene Weiser was an Wednesday’s meeting.

“I am overall, very excited about the project. I think it has a lot of potential. There are going to be more and more data centers going in somewheres. I think that, there are a lot of good ideas putting energy to good use.”

As it moves through the regulatory process, Goodenough said the company wants to show it has community support.