Six Flags launching solar projects for Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom

Posted Thursday, February 22, 2018 12:21 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company, in partnership with JLL (NYSE:JLL), a global professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management, today announced an ambitious new initiative to power two more of its parks—Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California and Six Flags Magic Mountain, near Los Angeles—almost entirely with solar power.

“We are committed to making all of our properties more energy efficient and sustainable for years to come,” said Six Flags Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer, Steve Purtell. “California’s support of renewable energy, the solar potential in the state, and the environmental benefits associated with solar energy made this the right decision for our guests, our team members, and our communities.” JLL, through a collaboration between its Capital Markets and Clean Energy experts, served as project advisors and Six Flags’ designated agent to select a leading renewable energy Independent Power Producer, who will build, own and operate the systems in California.

“From the onset, JLL worked with Six Flags to identify the benefits of implementing this renewable energy purchasing strategy and hosting the projects on-property,” said Blake Lacher, Managing Director, JLL Capital Markets, Americas. “Bringing all of the partners together early on in the process allowed for greater transparency in ensuring the objectives were clearly identified. Timely and clear communication with stakeholders and decision-makers on all sides was imperative to reach this milestone.”

When it becomes operational, the system at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will exceed 7 megawatts of electricity generated. Six Flags Magic Mountain’s system will have capacity for nearly 15 megawatts and will be the largest solar carport anywhere in North America.

Read the entire release on Business Wire.

Thursday, February 22, 2018 12:24 PM

It's pretty exciting to see this happening. I wonder what the ROI time period is for a large commercial installation like this. We're just about ready to pull the trigger at my house, and provided you don't have to borrow money for it, our system will have paid for itself in a little under 8 years, after which the power really is free. With Florida air conditioning and EV's, that's easily $3k a year in savings.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 1:03 PM

So just a little public education math tells me you are paying roughly $24,000 for solar? Wow. I guess that’s why the solar companies up here won’t give me a rough cost idea without them coming out and doing the full sales pitch. Combine that number with the $10,000 roof my house needs (possibly more, I kinda want to do a steel roof) before putting solar over the top of it, and solar is not in the cards for quite some time.

But back on topic... Good for Six Flags. That’s pretty awesome. Glad they finally got the project at SFGrAdv settled, too.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 2:11 PM

That's good math. It's almost exactly $24k. :) That's for a 10kW system, which is probably the sweet spot for a large, new construction, energy efficient house with a solid bit of roof facing south.

The bigger picture is really the eventual shift to distributed generation and storage, which is the most logical and scaleable way forward. The utilities of course continue to lobby against that, because it changes their business completely. Today your power comes from some number of centralized origins, a gas plant, a coal plant, whatever Canadians use to make electricity, and the grid routes it to you. In the future, generation happens closer to you, maybe even on your roof, and storage offsets changes in sun or wind availability. So imagine that a neighborhood goes up with a little substation of batteries (we're talking maybe 1,000 square feet), and it stores the excess generation from your neighborhood roofs or a solar array next to the playground. That's where we're headed, not getting your power from a fossil fuel plant burning stuff 1,000 miles away.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:26 PM

I remember hearing at some point a long, long time ago that transmission lines are incredibly inefficient. Like 15% loss or something like that.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:45 PM

But, what about the trees? Oh, won't somebody please think of the trees!!?

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:57 PM

If anyone is worried about trees they should build solar at CP. no trees there.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 9:07 PM

Jeff said:
That's good math. It's almost exactly $24k. :)

Word problems are FUN.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 10:39 PM

Raven-Phile said:

But, what about the polls? Oh, won't somebody please think of the polls!!?

Fixed it for ya!

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Friday, February 23, 2018 6:13 AM

ApolloAndy said:

I remember hearing at some point a long, long time ago that transmission lines are incredibly inefficient. Like 15% loss or something like that.

That's just a tad high. I spent a few years of my software dev career in a utility dealing with Transmission (electricity) and Distribution (gas). This article is closer to what I remembered, but it still puts it at 6-8% loss. Energy Efficiency in the Power Grid.

Their numbers on just how inefficient the production of electricity line up with what I recalled as well.

I worked on a project back in the day to model how much a customer could save by getting natural gas and converting electric appliances over. With centralized fossil fuel to electrical conversion, you had the massive loss in the generation of electricity in the plant. Then there was the power grid loss. Finally, you had the loss of electric appliances not being the most efficient at generating heat inside the house, which was ironic since so much energy was lost to heat in the creation of the electricity.

Gaming PC vs. Space Heater Efficiency

The model Jeff describes is similar to what Elon Musk is doing in Australia but more localized. If you have enough electrical generation via renewable sources and minimize the transmission losses, the concern over electric vs gas appliance efficiency dies down.

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Friday, February 23, 2018 9:34 AM

Tommytheduck said:

Raven-Phile said:

But, what about the poles? Oh, won't somebody please think of the poles!!?

Fixed it for ya!

Fixed *that* for you.

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Friday, February 23, 2018 11:27 AM

Sonuva...!!!

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