JACKSON, N.J. — Six Flags Great Adventure is tapping the sun to go green.
The amusement park in New Jersey is becoming one of the first in the world to generate almost all of its electricity from solar power.
Six Flags has partnered with KDC Solar to build the solar-power project — a mix of carports and solar panels — that will generate 23.5 megawatts of electricity and provide almost enough energy to power the entire park.
KDC Solar, which will own and operate the solar project, fitted three parking lots at Six Flags with solar carports, which are canopies that not only provide shade, but can generate a total of 11 megawatts of energy, which is enough to power 11,000 homes.
The park will generate an additional 12.5 megawatts of power from ground-mounted solar panels installed on a 40-acre plot of land near the park.
The option also exists for Six Flags to pump energy into the broader electrical grid, which could power nearby homes and businesses.
“This is a thrilling day for our company. This project represents a giant step toward becoming a net-zero carbon facility. Clean energy is right for the environment and our future, and we look forward to decades of environmental stewardship with our partner, KDC Solar,” Six Flags Great Adventure Park President John Winkler said Wednesday.
The massive solar farm was proposed back in 2015, and originally sought 90 acres of land, which would have required cutting more than 15,000 trees. Four of the largest environmental protection groups in New Jersey sued.
“You don’t kill the earth to save the earth,” Janet Tauro, the New Jersey board chair of Clean Water Action in 2015.
After nine months of hearings, the Jackson Planning Board approved the project, but construction did not begin until 2018, after a settlement was reached to reduce the amount of land used to 40 acres.
This is the Jackson theme park’s latest environmental initiative. It already recycles more than 60 percent of its waste, including paper, plastic and other mixed garbage.
The park also eliminated paper towels in restrooms in favor of energy-efficient hand dryers.AlertMe