Six Flags Discovery Kingdom goes solar

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has taken the big plunge into the energy future, becoming the first theme park on the West Coast whose roller coasters and animal habitats will be energized primarily by solar power.

At a special event Friday to kick off the park's 12th annual Holiday in the Park, complete with its light displays including "Six Flags Dazzle," Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan flipped a giant ceremonial switch marking the park's official shift to predominantly solar power.

The power is coming from what park officials call one of the largest "solar carport" installations of solar panels atop the theme park's parking lots.

Six Flags officials said that the solar carport is expected to provide at least 80 % of the park's electricity needs, producing 11.9 million kilowatt hours of energy each year.