A detonation, smoke stack collapse, and applause occurred.
New Jersey’s coal power plant era ended Friday morning with a bang.
The Logan Generating Plant and Chambers Cogeneration Plant, South Jersey’s only coal-fired plants, closed in June. In a ceremony Friday morning, officials exploded the Logan plant in Gloucester County.
The Chambers factory in Carneys Point, Salem County, was not immediately demolished by officials.
“The Logan demolition today signals the end of New Jersey’s coal age and a big step towards the state’s renewable energy future,” said Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz.
Starwood Energy, an offshoot of Starwood Capital Group that invests in energy infrastructure and controls both sites, stated Friday that it will build grid-scale “battery storage projects” at Logan and Chambers. Projects will support offshore wind transmission cables.
Battery storage lets power system operators and utilities store renewable energy like solar and wind power, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Supporters claim the storage saves customers money, helps the environment, and is handy during climate change-related rainy weather.
“Battery storage will strengthen a clean grid without polluting our air or jeopardizing vulnerable communities,” Cruz said.
Sierra Club recommends this to other states. New Jersey can lead the renewable energy revolution and assure a fair transition by acting now.
As the state transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy, Gov. Phil Murphy termed the move a “really good step in the right direction” earlier this spring. The Democratic governor wants New Jersey to use only “clean” energy by 2050.
“The collapse of New Jersey’s last running coal-fired power plant signals a symbolic turning point as the state continues its resolute transition to a 100% renewable energy economy,” a Murphy official told NJ Advance Media Friday afternoon.
“As we finish this chapter in New Jersey’s history, we look forward to a thriving green economy and the good-paying, family-sustaining employment it will produce.”
When the state announced the factories will shut down this summer, officials said it ended decades of air pollution and public health damage in Gloucester County. At a press briefing, Joseph Fiordaliso, board president of the Bureau of Public Utilities, initiated Starwood Energy’s implosion.
Sierra Club activists said they forced the BPU and Atlantic City Electric, a municipal utility, to close power facilities that “locked rate-payers into above-market prices” throughout 2021.
The state Board of Public Utilities ended the arrangement in March, allowing Starwood Energy to switch to sustainable energy.
“This is a wonderful move and we need to carry this momentum ahead and switch to 100% clean energy as quickly as possible. “It will improve our communities today and for generations,” said Sierra Club, NJ Chapter Director Anjuli Ramos-Busot.
Buffalo-based power plant demolition company Total Wrecking & Environmental was hired. A business official said the Logan plant’s 430-foot stack and 190-foot boiler were imploded on Friday after three months of planning.
Several New Jersey coal facilities have closed recently. PSE&G closed Hamilton and Jersey City plants in 2017. The Upper Township B.L. England facility closed in 2019.
The U.S. and other nations have been shifting away from coal for decades. Between 2005 and 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a 50% reduction in coal-generated electricity.
Coal is pricey and “dirty,” according to energy experts. Sierra Club’s online map covers all US coal plants.