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March 30, 2015

Six Flags to build N.J.'s largest solar farm

Theme park to cut down 18,000 trees, replant 25,000 over seven years

Environment Solar Power
03302015_SixFlags Tim Larsen/AP

Six Flags Great Adventure's roller coaster, Kingda Ka, sends people flying skyward in Jackson, N.J.

A New Jersey theme park is looking to build the state's largest solar farm to support its electrical needs.

Six Flags Great Adventure, which is located in Jackson Township, plans to cut down more than 18,000 trees to build a 90-acre, 21.9 megawatt solar farm, reports.

With the help of Bedminster, New Jersey-based KDC Solar LLC, who will construct the project, Great Adventure would become the largest self-powered theme park in the U.S., producing 98 percent of its current electrical needs.

"We are continually searching for new ways to operate more efficiently and enhance our role as good stewards of the environment," John Fitzgerald, the park's president, said in a statement. "Solar power will significantly reduce our reliance on harmful fossil fuels."

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.

The project, which will take 16 to 18 months to construct, is expected to be in operation sometime in the latter half of 2016. It was approved by township's planning board March 2.

The park opens for the season on April 3.

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