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Atlantic City (and all of New Jersey) Bets on Green Energy

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Where can you find the largest solar roof in America? What state seriously is trying to become the nation's hotbed of wind power? No. The correct answers are: New Jersey, and New Jersey. Despite the refinery-fueled appearance of environmental wasteland that New Yorkers see when they cross the Hudson and head down the Turnpike, the Garden State - as quietly as a hybrid engine - also is becoming the Green State.

The Atlantic City Convention Center has the largest solar roof in the nation, powering more than a quarter of the building's electricity. A report in the Press of Atlantic City says the Center also is about to get a $1.5 million grant for wind turbines to increase its green power.

On the other side of the South Jersey peninsula, Delsea Energy of Toms River has proposed a 160-turbine wind farm in the Delaware Bay. The Associated Press today reports the state government is opposing that plan because it could threaten birds. The state is not trying to reject it, but seeking changes as not to disrupt a major stopover for winged creatures that migrate along the East Coast.

New Jersey also has plans to power more than 64,000 homes with solar energy by 2013, while a water agency in the state considers harnessing hydropower.

So the next time you hold your nose while filling up with cheap gas at the Vince Lombardi rest stop, breathe easy knowing New Jersey is doing its part to clean up our environment and decrease dependence on fossil fuels.