TCNJ to save $408K annually with new solar arrays

NJBiz | Dawn Furnas
June 16, 2023

Five additions at The College of New Jersey will move the institution another step closer to its carbon neutrality goals – and also provide a nice bonus for its budget.

On June 14, the Ewing university cut the ribbon on five solar arrays located in parking lots and on building roofs across campus.

TCNJ enlisted Connecticut-based Greenskies Clean Focus for the project from a short list of potential vendors developed by the New Jersey Department of Treasury. Greenskies, which funded the project at no upfront cost to TCNJ, will also provide ongoing management and maintenance of the arrays.

In total, nearly 5,000 solar photovoltaic panels were installed on the rooftops at the Brower Student Center, Packer Hall, Armstrong Hall, Decker Hall and the canopy carports in parking lots 4 and 5.

As part of the arrangement, TCNJ will purchase the power generated by the arrays from Greenskies at a fixed rate for 15 years, according to the university.

TCNJ estimates that the solar arrays will generate more than 2,500 megawatt-hours of clean energy each year, offsetting more than 1,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The energy acquired from the new installations will be used to power the campus and reduce energy costs for the college by more than $408,000 annually, TCNJ projected.

“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,” Paul Romano, senior director, Sustainability and Energy Management at TCNJ, said in a statement.

In congratulating TCNJ on the project, state Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio added that New Jersey’s higher education institutions “play a critical role” in reaching Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of reaching 100% clean energy by 2035.

“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,” Maher Muoio added.