When you think of “green” and the environment, Atlantic City, N.J., is probably not the first place that comes to mind. So said Gary Musich, vice president, development, for the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, speaking at the Association for Convention Operations Management annual conference in New Orleans, January 8–11. But as far as convention centers go, Atlantic City is about as green as it gets. It has the largest solar rooftop in the country (and the second largest in the world), and it has plans to build a wind turbine.

In January, the Atlantic City Convention Center unveiled its new 2.36 megawatt solar roof, with some 13,000 solar panels that cover 300,000 square feet of roof. Solar energy generated by the roof panels will go directly into the building, which the city owns, and account for about 26 percent of the building’s power.

This year, convention center officials are researching the feasibility of constructing a wind turbine on the 31-acre property. The wind turbine would generate close to 20 percent of the center’s power. If the wind turbine is constructed, close to 50 percent of the convention’s center energy will come from renewable sources, with savings passed on to the customer.

Atlantic City’s commitment to the environment extends to recycling as well, said Musich, speaking at a session about green meetings at ACOM. Last year alone, the center recycled 45,180 pounds of paper and cardboard; 3.4 tons of glass, plastic, and aluminum bottles and cans; 47,198 pounds of carpet; 2,881 pounds of computers; 2,043 pounds of wooden pallets; and 5,574 pounds of electrical equipment.