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TCNJ celebrates Earth Week by setting sights on achieving carbon neutrality

The College of New Jersey kicked off Earth Week 2024 by announcing plans to develop a comprehensive energy plan called “TCNJ 2040: The Carbon Neutral Journey.”

The plan will establish a roadmap for converting fossil fuel-consuming equipment so the campus will ultimately be served entirely by carbon-free energy sources such as renewables and nuclear power.

paul romano stands under solar array in TCNJ's parking lot
Paul Romano under a solar array in a campus parking lot.

“This roadmap will identify ways to reduce emissions associated with how we use energy on campus, said Paul Romano senior director of sustainability and energy management at TCNJ. “It will also address how we can reduce emissions attributable to the production of power, as well as energy used to travel to and from campus.”

The college will receive funding for the plan through The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Higher Education Decarbonization Pilot Program, which focuses on incentivizing a broad scope of decarbonization strategies including energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, electric vehicle chargers, storage, and combined heat and power.

The program will reimburse the college fully for the cost of developing the plan and provide incentives for any investments made based on carbon reductions.

“The funding available through this program and the opportunity to leverage those funds with federal initiatives allow colleges like TCNJ to make investments that produce financial savings immediately, while also serving the goal of preserving our environment and mitigating adverse effects attributable to increased carbon emissions,” Romano said.

“The Higher Education Decarbonization Pilot program was designed to help New Jersey’s nation-leading higher education institutions make the necessary investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “We’re thrilled that TCNJ is participating and look forward to working together on this project.”

TCNJ has engaged the services of Salas-O’Brien and engineering consultant team BOND, who have developed similar studies for several colleges in the region including Princeton University.

“As an early Climate Commitment signatory, TCNJ set an admirable example in the higher education community,” said Mike Walters, district energy market leader for Salas O’Brien. “Assessing a breadth of viable decarbonization strategies and scenarios in a long-term carbon neutral plan will create an actionable roadmap for the college.”

TCNJ’s carbon neutrality efforts were accelerated in 2007 when the college became one of the first institutions in New Jersey to join the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This national consortium comprises a community of educational institutions that are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for largescale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects.

Since then, the college has taken numerous steps to reduce its carbon footprint including being among the first higher education institutions in the state to install photovoltaics, electric vehicle charging stations, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and fuel cells on campus.

Other projects presently under development through the college’s partnerships with PSE&G include energy efficiency and electric vehicle charging programs. A financially rigorous energy audit of all facilities on campus is expected to identify areas for both energy savings and cost savings, and the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations will include network access and Level II and III public charging. Nationwide, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We applaud TCNJ for its drive towards decarbonizing its energy systems, and we’re pleased to continue our long-established partnership as TCNJ pursues this path,” said John Latka, PSE&G senior vice president of transmission and distribution. “Our aim is to be a positive force in a changing world by providing access to safe, affordable, reliable and cleaner energy. PSE&G helps institutions like TCNJ as they look for ways to strengthen and modernize their energy systems, increase reliability and resiliency in their community, while also identifying important means to save energy and money along the way.”

For more information about TCNJ’s sustainability efforts, please visit the TCNJ Department of Sustainability and Energy website.


— Luke Sacks

 

Natasha Agrawal receives Fulbright U.S. Distinguished Teaching Award to Nepal

Natasha Agrawal MEd ’10 was selected for the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short Term Program. This summer, she will travel to Nepal and spend six weeks training teachers in the small town of Dhangadhi. Agrawal teaches English as a Second Language at Robbins Elementary School in Trenton and is also an instructor in TCNJ’s Department… Continue Reading

Brett Davidson named associate vice president for development and alumni engagement

TCNJ announced today the appointment of Brett Davidson to the position of associate vice president for development and alumni engagement, effective February 19. In this role, Davidson will be responsible for increasing overall support for the college and overseeing comprehensive and targeted fundraising campaigns. He also will develop goals, strategies, and programs for the successful… Continue Reading

Department of State names TCNJ a top producer of Fulbrights

The U.S. Department of State has recognized The College of New Jersey as one of only three “Top Fulbright-Producing Institutions” in New Jersey — alongside Princeton and Rutgers–New Brunswick — for the 2023–24 academic year. Only 170 institutions of higher learning in the United States received this distinction. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s… Continue Reading

TCNJ launches flexible Master of Professional Studies program

The College of New Jersey will give students a customizable way to earn a graduate degree, tailored to their career needs, with the creation of a Master of Professional Studies degree. The program involves a minimum of 30 credits, including two core courses, and the completion of two certificate programs within the academic schools at… Continue Reading

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The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

609.771.2598
alumni@tcnj.edu

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