UPPER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — For many years, vacationers heading to the New Jersey beach resorts of Ocean City and Cape May have admired the towering chimney of the BL England Generating Station as they drive past it on the Garden State Parkway.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The 463-foot-tall (141.1 m) stack served as a local landmark and even a weather predictor for some locals, who observed it from outside to determine the direction and speed of its emissions, as they decided what to wear for the day.
However, the power plant, which consumed coal and oil for many decades, shut down in May 2019, a casualty of the global transition away from burning fossil fuels.
And on Thursday morning, the smokestack, the final large remaining structure of the facility, was demolished using 350 pounds of explosives strategically placed by a demolition company recognized in the region for demolishing the former Trump Plaza casino in nearby Atlantic City in 2021. It was brought down by.
At 10 a.m., while more than 100 spectators watched from a nearby pier and additional onlookers gathered on at least 50 boats anchored at a safe distance in the bay, a loud explosion was heard, followed by the sound of two small boats. The stack rapidly leaned away from the water and crumbled into a cloud of dust.
“Everything went exactly as we planned: It went exactly as we anticipated,” stated Chad Parks, a spokesperson for the property’s owner, Beasley Point Development Group, a New York company that specializes in the redevelopment of distressed heavy industrial sites. ,
Two smaller structures, a gypsum silo and a portion of the former power plant, will be demolished using ground-based heavy equipment.
The demolition paves the way for the waterfront location on Great Egg Harbor Bay to assume its next role in supplying energy to the people of New Jersey: serving as a connection point for the state’s numerous planned offshore wind farms. It will also become a mixed-use development featuring a hotel, a marina, restaurants, shops, and residential units.
Since the power plant already had connections to the electricity grid, much of the infrastructure for integrating offshore wind into the power system was already in place at a nearby substation, making it a logical choice for bringing offshore wind energy to shore. has been made.
A cable from the initial wind farm, to be constructed by energy company Ørsted, will make landfall on a beach in Ocean City, run underground along a roadway, and then re-enter the waters of the Gulf before ultimately connecting to the grid at the former BL England site.
That route, as well as the project’s mere existence, have generated significant opposition among Ocean City residents and other communities along the Jersey Shore, who are fighting against them in court and in public opinion.
The power plant first opened its doors in 1961. A cooling tower on the premises was demolished in September 2022, and a boiler at the site was demolished in April.
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Wayne Perry, The Associated Press