The College of New Jersey is taking major strides toward a more sustainable campus as it breaks ground on a campuswide solar project this month.
The project consists of five solar arrays — a collection of solar panels that generate electricity as a system — that will be located in parking lots and building roofs across campus, including in parking lots 4 and 5, in which solar modules will be mounted to canopies that will be erected over the parking spots, and on the roofs of the Brower Student Center, Armstrong Hall, Packer Hall, and Decker Hall.
“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,” Joseph Como, project manager in TCNJ’s Office of Design and Construction, said.
TCNJ is working with EZNERGY Solar Energy Solutions on this project. According to the company, the total system size being installed on campus will produce 2,720,000 kwh per year, which equates to an approximate cost savings of over $408,000 annually.
And equally if not perhaps even more important is the estimated reduction in the college’s overall carbon footprint, which EZNERGY calculated as 1,917,882 tons of CO2 savings per year.
TCNJ faculty and students have been engaged with a variety of projects and initiatives working towards climate neutrality for the campus since 2007 when the college joined the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and established TCNJ’s Presidents’ Climate Commitment Committee. Recently, the committee has transitioned into formal governance and now officially operates as TCNJ’s Environmental Sustainability Council.
The work is scheduled to start this month with the installation of carport footings in parking lots 4 and 5.
Parking lot canopies will be installed early in the spring 2022 semester. Panels will be installed on building roofs from January through April 2022, with the bulk of the work at Armstrong Hall scheduled for spring break to limit disruption of classes.
Visit the Campus Construction webpage for more information about this and other campus projects currently in progress.
— Emily W. Dodd ’03