Rides at Six Flags Great Adventure now run on solar energy

John McDevitt
June 12, 2019 - 5:23 pm

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Next time you go to Six Flags Great Adventure, you'll be helping the park reduce its carbon footprint from the second you park your car.

The Jackson Township, New Jersey amusement park has installed its own 23.5-megawatt solar farm, and the park is almost fully powered by it alone. 

The roofs of the park's car ports are made up of solar panels. A net metering system allows Six Flags to generate its own clean energy to the rest of the park, including its Hurricane Harbor water park and its Safari Off Road Adventure — making it one of the world's first solar-powered theme parks.

The solar grid is live, and Six Flags President John Winkler said they are in the final commissioning and testing phase.

"It is feeding the grid, but we are maximizing each zone, so we are not quite 100 percent, but we are doing this strategically on purpose," he explained. "We are making sure everything is right."

Six Flags Great Adventure
Courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

Just about everything — from the roller coasters to the electric gates enclosing the giraffes — will be solar-powered.

In addition to the solar-powered panels spread across three parking lots, there are hundreds of ground-mounted solar panels situated on 40 acres of the property.

Six Flags Great Adventure
Courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

Aside from being environmentally friendly, the switch will also save Six Flags money in the long run.

"We are thrilled that the energy that we are creating is coming from a very sustainable and safe place," Winkler added, "and we are just thrilled to be off of the requirement of fossil fuels."

The park also recycles 60 percent of its annual waste, including scrap metal, cardboard and various plastics.

"We use hand dryers versus hand towels in the restrooms," Winkler noted. "All of our animal waste is used in local farms.   So it's all recycled. Then, we actually buy recycled products — all of our park benches, all of our lunch tables are all made out of recycled materials."