The College of New Jersey hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning to celebrate the five solar arrays located in parking lots and building roofs across campus.
Greenskies Clean Focus, a national leader in renewable energy solutions, funded the projects at no upfront cost to TCNJ, who will purchase the power generated by the arrays from Greenskies at a low, fixed rate for the next fifteen years. Greenskies will also provide ongoing management and maintenance.
In total, nearly 5,000 solar photovoltaic panels were installed on the rooftops at:
• Brower Student Center (341.0 kW)
• Packer Hall (137.8 kW)
• Armstrong Hall (338.3 kW)
• Decker Hall (142.9 kW)
• Canopy carports in parking lots 4 and 5 (1,115.6 kW)
Annually, these solar arrays are projected to generate more than 2,500 megawatt-hours of clean energy, offsetting more than 1,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Over the next 15 years, that’s the equivalent of taking about 6,000 gas-powered cars off the road or preserving 32,300 acres of forest. (Source: US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator).
All the energy that is acquired from the new solar arrays will be used to power the campus and reduce the energy costs for the college. It is estimated that the college will save over $408,000 annually.
“This is an important milestone in the college’s progress toward carbon neutrality and when combined with our other efforts to reduce demand through energy conservation will assure both the sustainability and resiliency of the college for the world our students will advance,” said Paul Romano, senior director, sustainability and energy management at TCNJ.
“Higher education has an important role in accelerating our nation’s transition to clean, renewable energy – from leading by example with on-site solar generation to educating the next generation of sustainability innovators,” said Stanley Chin, Greenskies president and CEO. “Greenskies is proud to support The College of New Jersey’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by installing solar, leaving a positive impact on current and future generations of students.”
TCNJ partnered with Greenskies through a carefully vetted process and short list of potential vendors developed by the New Jersey Department of Treasury as potential entities capable of handling this critical work.
“I want to thank the professionals at Treasury’s Division of Property Management and Construction and the Division of Purchase and Property for their hard work and foresight in developing a state contract that allows institutions such as TCNJ to lower their energy costs while reducing their reliance on fossil fuels,” said Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “Our institutions of higher education play a critical role in achieving the Murphy administration’s goal of making New Jersey 100 percent powered by clean energy by 2035, and we congratulate TCNJ for their leadership in taking this critically important step today.”
— Luke Sacks