Six Flags Great Adventure not changing course over solar plans

Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015 8:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

He drives a Tesla plug-in, speaks passionately about the perils of climate change and is an architect of one of the most ambitious green energy initiatives in the state. But for the past month, Six Flags Great Adventure President John Fitzgerald has drawn the ire of New Jersey environmentalists, who have lined up in opposition to his plan to cut down 19,000 trees for a 90-acre solar farm.

Read more and see video from The Asbury Park Press.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:28 PM

Yeah! Look at these poor birds, being destroyed by energy companies. :(

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:40 PM

I never said "solar energy is bad" so there is nothing to win or lose. The only loss is your mistake in reading and interpreting what I said. My reference was to a specific installation. Seriously you'd be better off responding to what I do say, instead of to what I didn't say. If you'd read the comments I've made then you should've been able to infer that I'm not opposed to solar energy and any opposition would merely be to a specific installation. Looks like I win! LOL. Out loud!

Last edited by egieszl, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:42 PM
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:47 PM

I'm not the one who has any issues with reading nor understanding. If someone's arguement against solar is that it reflects into their house, and that's why solar is bad, that's not a valid arguement against solar power. I never said you were against solar. What are you even trying to argue?

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 10:24 PM

Jeff said:

There is a bizarre disconnect that suggests that environmental concerns are incompatible with capitalism. This is one of those cases that I think demonstrates otherwise.

Those who MAKE environmental concepts profitable are the ones who will be writing their own checks - and maybe even saving the planet while they're at it... ;~)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 10:47 PM

egieszl said:

How about I construct a solar array in the backyard of my home and for six hours or more a day the reflection from my panels sends blinding, hot rays of sun into your home leaving you with no choice but to install and use blackout shades in your home all-day long.

How about, if that's the case, you bring in the appropriate legal authorities and settle the matter between the concerned parties?

It's interesting that you had to go to a second-rate Canadian news site to find an article about solar panels in California.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 7:51 AM

I don't post a lot here,but this topic really hit a nerve.

Let me start by saying I hold both a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering. I've done post graduate work in Civil and Construction Engineering and am a licensed Professional Engineer in N.J.

In grad school I worked on a solar energy project where we built a system to heat our lab.

In the "real world" I've been involved in the construction of a number of solar panel installations.

If GA is truly interested in helping the environment, like they say they are,then they should put the solar panels over their parking lots.

Yes,its somewhat more expensive,but based on the projects I've done,not as much as people assume.This approach saves all the trees,plus extends the life of the parking lot pavement.

As far as "Net Carbon Decrease" that sounds great in theory,but may not be quite as good as it sounds.

When we design a project like a pump station that serves the public, even if we use an alternative power source, usually a generator, we must also have "city" power available,in case the on site power fails.

I would think that,since GA is open to the public ,they would be subject to the same requirement .If that's the case,you still have to have the same capacity in your power plants.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:04 AM

But, that power is already there, and they've been using it for years. In essence, they're flipping the switch to "off" and, if needed, they can flip it back to "on".

It's not like this is anew project that requires running all new, dedicated power from the city for a "just in case" scenario.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:35 AM

I agree 100%.

The power is there ,and its staying,so there does not appear to be a decrease in carbon emissions.The only decrease is how much GA has to pay a power company when the solar panels are in use.

Last edited by rpbobcat, Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:36 AM
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Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:01 AM

No, you're wrong there. There's absolutely a decrease in carbon emissions.

The power is available, but they aren't using it. Are you trying to say that the power company is over here feeding a furnace, specifically for GA - just in case they need it?

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:11 AM

rpbobcat said:

As far as "Net Carbon Decrease" that sounds great in theory,but may not be quite as good as it sounds.

Are you going to quantify that? I did. As I said in a previous thread:

Does the solar farm cut down more in CO2 emissions in any given year than the trees absorbed? This source says producing 1 kWh of electricity produces 1.341 pounds of CO2. It also says one tree can suck down 911 pounds of CO2 over the course of 55 years. My house uses as much as 1,400 kWh of electricity per month in the summer (700 in winter), so that's 1,877 pounds of CO2 per month at its peek. I would need two trees hanging out for 55 years to offset that!

So I'm thinking if this facility generates 21.9 megawatts, that's something like 32 million kWh generated annually, which would generate about 43 million pounds of CO2 through fossil fuel generated energy. It would take 47,000 trees 55 years to absorb just one year of CO2 generated in that case.

Sorry, the solar farm wins. It's not even close.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:16 AM

The power authority doesn't just burn as much coal or create as many nuclear reactions to create as much power as electricity as possible and then store said power in holding tanks for when it's needed. So if SFGAdv creates enough solar power to run their park, that's that much less power the authority needs to create. And if SFGAdv creates a surplus, they sell that back to the power authority, reducing required production even more. But the CAPACITY is always there for the power authority to generate enough power if and when the park needs it...

Hmm... Capacity vs actual output... Sounds familiar.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:28 AM

It's far more nuanced than that. They all buy and sell capacity to each other as needed. It's not in their best interest to over or under-produce. They use some pretty intense prediction models to get it right.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:47 AM

I still think the only reason they want to build this solar farm is to provide electricity for their new hotel.

*ducks and runs for cover*

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:40 AM

If trees are so important to these environmentalists why aren't they fighting forest fires? Trees don't belong in amusement parks imo and if you think they do try explaining it to the parents of the 5yr old killed at lake compounce from a falling branch while playing miniature golf. For some reason this country think trees are more important than a human life. If you don't believe me try drivng down the merrit parkway in ct where trees are constantly falling on the road killing people.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:45 AM

Um. What?

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:59 AM

Now Raven, don't be a bully. ;)

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:35 PM

You say that jokingly, but you like to make that accusation while hypocritically doing the same thing I get accused of, so...

Anywho, Trees are bad. Didn't ya'll watch The Happening?

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:55 PM

It's the context. Why are you so freakin' argumentative all the time. Enjoy life and relax buddy.

...And I voted up your post because The Happening was a terrible move, and that was really funny. :)

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:56 PM

gamerguy said:

... try explaining it to the parents of the 5yr old killed at lake compounce from a falling branch while playing miniature golf.

Well.

Clearly, then, trees do not belong in cities, towns, Walt Disney World, villages, golf courses, forests, zoos, industrial parks, conservatories, dog parks, Walmart parking lots, swamps, Rachael Ray's backyard or anywhere else a tree might maliciously drop a branch on a "5yr" old.

(Is that pronounced "five-yer"?)

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:57 PM

Tekwardo said:

I'm not the one who has any issues with reading nor understanding. If someone's arguement against solar is that it reflects into their house, and that's why solar is bad, that's not a valid arguement against solar power.

No clearly you have problems interpreting what is written. Once again, you still fail to understand that it wasn't an argument against solar energy, but instead about the location of the installation. And just like Six Flags, the issue is not about solar energy, but about the location. I can't dumb it down anymore for you, so if you don't get it then you don't get it. I can't help you.

slithernoggin- is claiming that the source of the article is second-rate the best rebuttal you have? You're wasting our time.

Last edited by egieszl, Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:58 PM
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