Himanshu Saxena, CEO of Starwood Energy, the owner of the last coal-operating plant in New Jersey, hopes its implosion last weekend will not go down as the end of an era — but, rather the start of one.
The Logan Generating site in Swedesboro, which began operations in 1994, will now transition into one of the largest energy storage projects anywhere on the East Coast, Saxena said.
Saxena said the company is eager to work with Energy Management and other shareholders to help the state meet its clean energy goals.
Saxena also praised state policymakers, environmental advocates and Atlantic City Electric for the years of effort that created a framework for this historic moment.
“We wanted to respond to the clarion call for aggressive decarbonization actions, which is a major component of the (Gov. Phil) Murphy administration and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Master Plan,” he said. “Working with numerous stakeholders, we developed a win-win plan that created an early and permanent retirement of the Logan plant and resulted in one of the state’s single-largest CO2 reduction measures.
“And, now, in accordance with New Jersey’s legislative mandate to implement urgently needed energy storage for grid security and to accommodate and maximize the benefit of the huge influx of incoming renewable energy, including from offshore wind.”
Joe Fiordaliso, president of the BPU, said it was a good day.
“The action we are taking today marks a historic milestone for New Jersey,” he said. “Today, we have taken a massive step in the right direction that will pave the way for New Jersey’s clean energy future.”
Ramón Cruz, president of the Sierra Club, agreed.
“The Logan demolition today marks the end of the coal era in New Jersey and a major step towards the state’s clean energy future,” he said. “Battery storage will play an instrumental role in bolstering a clean grid, all without polluting our air or endangering the health of vulnerable communities.
“Sierra Club encourages other states to follow this example. By continuing to act now, New Jersey can be a national leader on clean energy and ensure a just transition for all.”