Rowan University, NJ Wind Energy Purchases

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Rowan University, NJ, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

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Rowan University – as a leading member of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS), and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council – feels a strong commitment to implementing sustainable practices. The University’s president was the first New Jersey university president to sign the American College President’s Climate Change Challenge, and Rowan is represented on NJHEPS, a consortium of higher education institutions in New Jersey whose mission is to promote the implementation and integration of sustainability into higher education in New Jersey and beyond. The University has also been instrumental in organizing the New Jersey Wind Working Group for Terrestrial and Small Wind Systems.

Rowan University has an internal Energy Review Panel comprised of students, faculty, and staff to assess its energy programs and establish goals. One such goal is the reduction of the University’s CO2 emissions by 3.5%. As the first educational institution to purchase emission-free wind energy from the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm – the nation’s first coastal wind farm – Rowan University was committed to the benefits of using clean, renewable energy and saw a way to further reduce CO2 emissions by significantly increasing their wind energy purchase.

For the year 2007, Rowan will purchase 10,250,000 kWh of national wind, and 183,673 kWh of New Jersey wind from New Jersey’s CleanPower Choice ProgramSM – a statewide program that makes renewable energy accessible to all New Jersey electric utility customers. Rowan’s commitment to wind power is equivalent to 25% of the University’s total energy use and accounts for 50% of their CO2 reduction goal.

Besides the wind power purchase, Rowan University has implemented other energy conservation measures. With support from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, the University has incorporated boiler upgrades, a new chilled water plant, and a Combined Heat & Power (CHP) project. With a $1 million incentive for its CHP project, and close to $400,000 from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program for energy efficiency measures, Rowan was able to construct an on-site cogeneration facility to supplement their energy use. The cogeneration plant sports 2 industrial turbines with a 4,700 kW capacity.

The University’s wind purchase will avoid the release of 14 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is like removing 1,347 cars from the road each year. The CHP project will aid in cutting emissions, and offer a reliable power source for the campus and its expansion. The cogeneration plant will decrease dependence on grid-supplied electricity by 35,317 MWh/year. This equates to an annual reduction of CO2 emissions by roughly 42 million lbs. and 307,964 lbs. of sulfur dioxide emissions.

Recognized as the 2007 Clean Energy School by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, Rowan University had already assumed a leadership role in the sustainability area with a myriad of educational and outreach efforts in place to promote sustainability and conservation to their student body, the local community, and other institutions and universities. The University provides energy conservation checklists to their students to promote responsible energy usage; works extensively with students to spread environmental awareness; and has opened its doors to sharing information with the professional community, as well as the general community.