Six Flags Taps the Sun



The iconic theme park is creating California’s largest solar project.

If you’ve ever screamed while corkscrewing and plummeting your way through a terrifying, monster-sized roller coaster ride in the U.S., chances are you did it at a Six Flags theme park. The firm operates twenty-seven regional theme parks in North America and is the largest operation of its kind on Earth. And now it can boast another superlative: by next year, it will also be the proprietor of California’s biggest single-site commercial renewable energy project.

The project is a 12.37-megawatt solar installation at the Six Flags Magic Mountain park in Valencia, north of Los Angeles. The solar panels will be installed in — or rather, above — the site’s thirty-acre parking lot and will collectively form a giant canopy for capturing the sun’s radiation to power the park’s twenty roller coasters and other rides. It will also provide welcome shade for visitors’ and employees’ cars parked underneath the panels. 

In a news release, Six Flags says that when the project is completed in late 2023 or early 2024, the solar carport and battery storage system — being developed in partnership with Los-Angeles-based Solar Optimum and DSD Renewables, based in New York — will generate 20.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, equivalent to the annual electricity demand of 2,900 homes and enough to offset 100% of Magic Mountain’s energy usage. It will also become the third Six Flags amusement park to have solar power systems; the other two are at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, which together have over thirty megawatts of onsite solar capacity.

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Alec Ross
Alec Ross
Veteran freelance writer and author Alec Ross lives in Kingston, Ontario.
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