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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:09 PM

Not a rebuttal; an observation. A reasonable person might think that a central California solar power generating station that's killing birds might attract notice from central California TV stations and newspapers. That you had to go so far afield as to end up in Toronto citing a source that is not CBC, the Globe and Mail or the National Post to find an article.....

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:33 PM

Eric, I get that the argument is about the location. My argument is still the same. I don't care if they're getting rid of 90 acres to put in solar fields. That's *STILL* better in the long run. Jeff even did the math.

Travis, I have a very enjoyable life. Why are you allowed to be a hypocrite? Context or not, you went in an targeted someone on here you don't like and bullied them for no reason. You like to throw that term at me. Then you come in here and use it, knowing you'll get a response. Oh, I forgot, you're the victim always. It's not the same when you target someone you don't agree with on here and tell them Jesus doesn't care, as long as you don't agree with them, because that's okay.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:39 PM

Jeff said:

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.

Here's the problem,l don't know of any way to quantify reductions in carbon emissions objectively.

The source you linked to seems to have honorable intentions, but could hardly be considered "objective".

Solar has a number of benefits,especially if you can get tax credits or grants to buy the panels.But if you have to buy the panels "retail" the pay back time in many cases is longer then the life expectancy of the panels.

Solar panels also degrade over time and become less efficient when they get dirty.

Most of the information I've seen about solar panels rate them when they are brand new and clean.

I also feel that if GA truly interested in maximizing their positive environmental impact they would save the trees and put the panels in the parking lot .

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:40 PM

My knowledge and caring about the subject are both pretty low so I'm not taking any sides here at all. However, I just wanted to point out for the sake of the discussion that the power station killing the birds was pretty big news last year. I read about it in the Wall Street Journal. I have no idea if the story is relevant or makes a case for any side of the debate, but I wouldn't want to see the source Eric used downplay it's validity.

Wall Street Journal Story

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:56 PM

Everyone keeps saying they should put it over the parking lot without any counter argument. The park says it can't be done. So what information do we have that says it can?

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:59 PM

Six Flags and KDC Solar have pledged to replant 25,000 trees over a period of seven years. Most of the trees slated for removal are in "poor" or "very poor" condition, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher. A forester will oversee the replanting, she added.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:18 PM

I'll take the Wall Street Journal (news department, not the editorial page.... :-) ) over a Shaw Canada holding. Thanks.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:26 PM

I have a few observations here.

First is the type of solar array. SF is proposing a photovoltaic system if I am not mistaken whereas the "bird killer" in California is a power tower. The difference is that the power tower uses mirrors to concentrate the heat from the sun on small parts of a centrally located tower. This is similar to using a magnifying glass to burn ants. Massive amounts of heat are generated near the receivers on the tower. Photovoltaic systems, though they do reflect heat, do not generate this type of heat. I am not going to claim photovoltaic systems do not indirectly cause fatal harm to birds, but a photovoltaic system is not going to cause a bird to catch fire mid flight. They might become disoriented and dive at the panels, but even this is marginalized as photovoltaic panels are not mirrors like on a power tower system. To me the system differences make the article reference and argument of loss of aviary life a moot point and therefore irrelevant to this discussion. Photo references: Power Tower System, KDC Photovoltaic Array

Second observation is that the loss of bird life appears to be estimated in the 600k range annually due to solar power generation at the highest end based on my personal research. Feel free to correct that number if you find something else. Most estimates are much lower. I have seen estimates near 8 million due to coal production and close to 40 million due to cars. Windows easily kill the most in nearly all research documents I can find. Arguing over bird loss seams to be a pretty petty argument against solar when you consider all the other ways they die.

Final observation is the assumption that they should build the array over the parking lot. Looking at the documents it looks as if KDC will own and operate the solar array and sell the power to SF. I would imagine this is the reason why it will be on disconnected property. If the relationship between SF and KDC were to come to an end it would be hard for SF to separate from KDC if the array is over the parking lot. I would expect this to at least be one reason for the location choice.

Last edited by ldiesman, Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:30 PM
Friday, May 1, 2015 12:53 AM

Tekwardo said:

Travis, I have a very enjoyable life. Bla-bla-bla...

I am just going to smile, nod. and pat you on top of the head. lol

Friday, May 1, 2015 7:06 AM

It'd be better if you just smiled and decided not to be a hypocrite.

Friday, May 1, 2015 7:29 AM

Tekwardo said:

Everyone keeps saying they should put it over the parking lot without any counter argument. The park says it can't be done. So what information do we have that says it can?

As an engineer,I don't know any reason why,from a design/construction perspective, the panels couldn't be put over the parking lots.

I've worked projects where they've been put over parking lots in schools and public buildings without any issues.

The only issue is cost.First the footings, which vary based on soil conditions.Second the size of the support steel which varies based on "span".In a field you can use smaller supports, placed closer together.In a parking lot you need more of a "span" to reduce the impact on parking spaces.That requires larger steel.

Other design factors like snow load are the same if they are in open field or a parking lot.

The previous post about the solar farm being independently owned and operated makes the most sense as to why GA wouldn't want them "on site".

Friday, May 1, 2015 7:34 AM

Maybe the reason it can't be out in the parking lot isn't a design or engineering reason...

Friday, May 1, 2015 8:13 AM

Honestly, who wants to go to an amusement park, and park under a giant car port anyway? Part of the enjoyment is stepping out of the car and feeling the sun and the breeze, then looking ahead at the skyline of what awaits your day.

Disneyland and Universal are the exception, because parking garages are awesome.

Friday, May 1, 2015 8:53 AM

Whatever, Tek. You cry and sob about being called a bully months ago, then you claim "I" am somehow trying to act like a victim. You try to start arguments with anyone you think will argue back, then you claim that "I" am a bully. Then to top it all off, you tell me "I" am being a hypocrite when it's clear that you are. That's why I want to just pat you on your crybaby little head and smile. lol

Friday, May 1, 2015 9:41 AM

Travis, the adults in the room are trying to have a discussion about the topic. All you've done is try to turn it into a discussion about you. As always. You attacked someone you didn't like who was posting on topic. You came here and started in here knowing you'd get a reaction. Because you need attention. Why don't you post on topic?

Friday, May 1, 2015 9:44 AM

Instead of putting "I" on quotation marks you should refer to yourself in the third person, like The Rock does...

If ya smellllll what The Krause is cookin!

Last edited by ShaneDenmark, Friday, May 1, 2015 11:17 AM
Friday, May 1, 2015 10:59 AM

I'm in the process of ordering an inflatable boxing ring, and 2 sets of giant gloves. Where do you guys want to meet up so you can duke it out?

No headgear, that's for suckers.

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:08 AM

Or even better, get inflatable Sumo Wrestler suits!

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:12 AM

Guess I logged onto pointbuzz by mistake.

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:38 AM

Here's what bugs me about you two: you clearly have some beef with each other that concerns no one else. Why don't you hash this out through private communication? Why do you have to post your back-and-forths on the forum for everyone else to see?

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Friday, May 1, 2015 11:38 AM

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