Kevin Gaughan’s plan for a South Buffalo golf course appear to be sunk. Source Renewables, LLC has applied to rezone the golf course site in order to construct a solar farm. The properties, comprising the Marilla Street landfill, are north of South Park and south of the Tesla factory and include 47, 50, 105, 107, 109, 226, 228, and 230 Marilla Street; 558 Tifft Street; 2, 38, and 51 Hopkins Street; and railroad property.
In 2018, Gaughan purchased the thirteen properties totalling 91 acres from Steelfields Ltd for $650,000. The properties were previously owned by Republic Steel and Donna Hanner Coke that ceased operations in 1982. Steelfields acquired the sites in 2002 and began a State-supervised cleanup in 2003.
Gaughan’s non-profit teamed with golf pro Jack Nicklaus to design a signature course for the brownfield properties. According to The Buffalo News, Gaughan fell behind on mortgage payments for the site and the mortgage was taken over by Source Renewables.
Plans call for 31,800 solar panels across 63 acres of the site. The energy firm has applied to the City to rezone the properties from D-OG (Green) and CR (Rail) to D-IL (Light Industrial). Two parcels, 51 Hopkins and 558 Tifft are not proposed for development. The project would generate 10 megawatts of power, roughly enough to power 1,500 households.
According to the project application, the proposed rezoning furthers the renewable energy goals of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to produce 70 percent of New York State’s electricity through renewable sources by 2030.