The Logan Generating Plant was dismantled on Friday morning, ending decades of air pollution and deteriorating public health in Swedesboro and nearby areas in Gloucester County.
The Logan facility and Chambers, the state’s other last coal-fired power plant, was initially shut down in June.
The agreement to legally close Logan and Chambers was a significant achievement in our efforts to clean up the grid and establish healthier, more sustainable communities in New Jersey.
Both Logan and Chambers were once peaker plants. Each operated during periods of high energy consumption to stabilize the system and prevent blackouts. Now, both facilities will be converted into large-scale battery storage facilities.
Their current interconnection networks provide connection to new offshore wind transmission lines, which means that clean energy will flow where once coal did. Renewable energy will now assist in preventing blackouts and guaranteeing power during high heat or cold without endangering public health.
Our leaders in New Jersey have lofty expansion ambitions for battery storage. The modifications made to Logan and Chambers are just the beginning. Despite the fact that New Jersey is effectively coal-free and on schedule to increase its storage capacity, other sources of pollution continue to rise in our state.
Statewide, seven additional fossil fuel projects are now in progress. The majority of these projects are located in environmental justice neighborhoods and pose a danger to the state’s ability to meet its required greenhouse gas emission targets.
These plants could develop similar health effects as Logan in Swedesboro if not stopped. Air pollution created by methane gas can lead to asthma attacks, heart diseases, and other health problems.
Some of New Jersey’s dirtiest power plants are already situated in and surrounding environmental justice neighborhoods, where the health of largely Black, Latino, and low-income populations has been negatively impacted.
When discussing energy sources, the health and well-being of all New Jersey residents must be taken into account. Gov. Phil Murphy has made significant contributions to offshore wind development.
Murphy must take more aggressive action to halt the development of these seven fossil fuel projects and prioritize the addition of clean, renewable energy to the grid in order to solidify his climate legacy.
The Inflation Reduction Act will surely serve as a springboard for the advancement of this ambition for clean energy. Although the decision to decommission Logan and Chambers predates the Inflation Reduction Act, Friday’s demolition should be followed by a series of sustainable energy initiatives.
The Act’s funding can offer the incentive and cash necessary to add further clean, renewable energy projects to the grid and permanently wean our state off fossil fuels.
Clean energy is not only better for our health and the environment, but also for our wallets. Customers of Atlantic City Electric (ACE) will receive refunds on their payments due to the closure of Logan and Chambers.
In a growing number of instances, it is less expensive to trade fossil fuels for renewable energy solutions.
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As ACE did, more utilities must acknowledge this shift and accept their responsibilities to aggressively decrease carbon pollution.
Our ability to combat the climate problem and create a healthy future for our children and grandkids will depend on everyone’s contribution to the advancement of renewable energy. These initiatives include those of Governor Murphy and his administration, ACE, and others, and the Sierra Club, its members, and other environmental organizations.
The demolition at Logan signifies a moment of progress. Let’s maintain this momentum and continue expanding clean energy across the state. It will benefit our communities now and for future generations.