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Imploded NJ coal plant gets exciting makeover — here's what it means for local residents

A total of four new projects have been proposed.

A total of four new projects have been proposed.

Photo Credit: iStock

In a complete 180-degree turn from dirty fuel generation to sustainable power, the remaining part of a New Jersey coal plant has been demolished to make way for a connection site for local offshore wind farms

As the Associated Press reported, the B.L. England Generating Station smokestack was imploded in late October after the power plant closed in May 2019.

Visitors traveling to New Jersey's tourist spots of Ocean City and Cape May would previously have been welcomed by the 463-foot-tall tower puffing out planet-warming pollution on their approach, but it has now been removed entirely

Since the plant already had lines to the electrical grid, it's the perfect spot for the new connection point for the upcoming wind farms. 

A total of four new projects have been proposed, adding to the three already approved off the coast of New Jersey.

The AP said the first of that quartet of new clean-energy sites would be located far enough from the shore that beach-goers would not be able to see it, and it would generate enough power for the needs of 500,000 homes. 

Coal plants have been steadily closing across the United States, to the point that wind energy eclipsed the power produced by nuclear and coal plants combined for the first time during one day in March 2022, according to NPR.

Meanwhile, a 2023 study from think tank Energy Innovation found that 99% of coal power plants are more expensive to run than to replace with new solar or wind generation sites. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal plants accounted for 20% of all energy-related carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S. in 2021, in addition to 60% of the total carbon dioxide produced by the electric power sector. 

Carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere and acts like a blanket around the Earth, trapping heat that contributes to extreme weather conditions like droughts, deadly storms, and wildfires

Meanwhile, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter from burning coal contribute to respiratory illnesses, lung disease, and poor air quality. 

It's clear that moving away from coal power to cleaner energy generation is vital for the health of the planet and its inhabitants, and the wind-power projects off of New Jersey Shore are just one helpful step in doing so.

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