this article - Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

this article - Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

green projectsIt’s an unseasonably warm dayin early spring and two Stocktonstudents, with an anemometer in tow,are headed to Mainland Regional HighSchool in Linwood.The students will show installershow to configure the anemometer, adevice that measures wind. It will stayat Mainland for a year, connected to adata logger.It is the first step in an assessmentto determine if the site is viable for alarge wind turbine.“When you put up a tower orinstall an anemometer on a site, youwant to get a full seasonal change inwind because you’re talking about apretty major investment,” said AssociateProfessor of Political Science PatrickHossay from the School of Social andBehavioral Sciences.Hossay runs the anemometer loanprogram for southern New Jersey. Inpartnership with the State Board ofPublic Utilities (BPU) and the AtlanticCounty Utilities Authority (ACUA),the program helps private and publicentities evaluate potential sites forwind turbines. Currently, there are sixsuch locales under study.“We got enough money togetherto buy a couple of very sophisticatedmeteorological towers that includeseveral anemometers on them and someother anemometers that are separateunits, and we make them available tofolks in the region who are thinkingabout wind power,” said Hossay.“Now to be clear, this is significantwind power. So if you’re thinking ofputting a small wind turbine in yourbackyard, you don’t need to do thiskind of evaluation.”A meteorological tower canbe placed at a potential site, oranemometers can be placed onexisting structures to save the costof installing a full-size tower. There’sa tower in the City of Ventnor underStockton’s loan program. Atlantic CityHigh School hosts an anemometer onits football field lights.Although Atlantic City High—located on the sweeping back bayarea west of the city—would seemthe perfect site for a wind turbine,only a thorough assessment will proveits worth.“Part of the advantage of these unitsis that they just don’t tell us that thewind is strong, but they give us a senseof how frequently the wind changes, andthat could affect the kind of unit you’regoing to put in there,” Hossay said.“We got enough moneytogether to buy a coupleof very sophisticatedmeteorological towers thatinclude several anemometerson them and some otheranemometers that areseparate units, and we makethem available to folks in theregion who are thinkingabout wind power.”– Patrick HossayAssociate Professorof Political Science from the School ofSocial and Behavioral SciencesOpposite Page Photo:Stockton professor Patrick Hossay(far left) and his students makeadjustments to an anemometer atopthe College’s recreation center,“Big Blue.” Hossay runs theanemometer loan program forsouthern New Jersey which tests thefeasibility of installing wind turbines.summer 20107

green projectsAnemometer units assess both wind speed anddirectional changes.Not only does the prospectivesite have to have “good wind,” butthere also must be a substantial energyconsumer on site to use the electricitygenerated.“And they have to be likely to getthe permits necessary to allow it,”Hossay said.Some municipalities have “windordinances,” but most don’t.Additionally, wind advocates oftenhave to overcome misinformationabout turbines; notably that they’renoisy and they harm birds.“The reality is, with new turbines,you could stand right under them andyou wouldn’t even know that they’rethere,” Hossay said. “They’re very, veryquiet and very efficient.”As for the bird strikes, when windturbines are properly installed andproperly sited, bird strikes are minimal,he said.Wind power has a number of benefits,not the least of which is economic. Hossaypoints to the Jersey Atlantic Wind Farm. Itprovides about 60 percent of the energyfor the ACUA’s wastewater treatment plantin Atlantic City.“The reality is, with newturbines, you could stand rightunder them and you wouldn’teven know that they’re there.”– Patrick Hossay“The ACUA didn’t pay for thosewind turbines. They allowed anindependent company to go in andinstall them, and then all they did wasagree to buy the electricity that theturbines produce. And they’re buyingit under market price, so they’regetting cheaper electricity whichis saving taxpayers a lot of money;and the company is making a profitnevertheless off those wind turbines.It ends up being a win-win situation,”he said.“It’s just good management oftaxpayer revenue, and that’s true formunicipalities. I’m not saying a windinstallation is always a good idea. I’msaying if you have a site that’s good forwind, then installing a wind turbinewill pay for itself.“Typically we’re looking at apayback period—it depends on thesite—but around six to eight years.So what that means is, you put outthe money to build this turbine, in sixyears you’ve gotten all your moneyback in savings and those turbines aregoing to operate for probably 20 years.So you’ve got another 12 or 14 years offree electricity.“When we did the calculation oncampus for a wind turbine, we foundthat we would be revenue-positive in18 months. That’s pretty good.”About 40 percent of the newenergy capacity added in each of thelast two years was generated by wind,making it one of the top new sourcesof electricity in the U.S., according tothe American Wind Energy Association(AWEA), a national trade association.The AWEA said the U.S. windindustry provides 85,000 Americanjobs and has increased domesticmanufacturing twelve-fold since 2004.Another major benefit of wind8 march 2010

green projectspower is, it’s clean. It producesno emissions, requires no fuel andconsumes no natural resources.“We know that climate changeis a fact,” said Hossay, “and we knowthat it’s caused by human emissions.If we can make clean energy thatdoesn’t produce climate changinggases, we ought to do so, and withwind, we can do so in many places.“There are some estimates thatwe could produce 20 to 30 percentof the electricity we need for theentire United States with windenergy. And, 20 to 30 percent ispretty conservative; some folks sayit’s more like 40 to 45 percent.”There are also many people whofeel that wind power will reduce ourdependence on foreign oil.“The more electricity we makefrom home-grown sources, the betteroff we are. And this [wind power] is amajor, major American natural resourcethat we’re not using properly,” saidHossay.The anemometer loan program isone way Stockton, in partnership withthe state and local utilities, can seethose benefits grow.“I’m an environmentalist because itis what I am, not just what I do. So forme this stuff really matters,” said Hossay.“There are some other schools inthe state running anemometer loanprograms,” he added. “False modestyaside, I think ours is more extensive,active and proactive.“The other anemometer loanprograms are focused on existingtowers, or they just put up towers onfarmers’ fields to see what the windlooks like, which was useful, but we’reactually working with folks who areready to make investments in wind.We’re setting up sites that will bemajor installations for wind energy.”Hossay said he gets greatsatisfaction by engaging his students inthe wind assessment project.“For me, it’s all about beingStockton’s solar panel carport is one of the country’slargest such “green” projects.hands-on,” he said. “I really wantstudents to learn by doing, and this isa great experience for that. I’ve beenable to get some donations, and I’veput those in a foundation account,which is enough to pay the students.So the students are getting paid togain professional experience.”Stockton has an anemometer ona 164-foot tower at its arboretum, aswell as one atop the recreation center“Big Blue.”Big Blue is the site of one ofseveral solar arrays that have beeninstalled on campus in recent years.There have also been solar panelsinstalled in the F-Wing Overbuild, theArts & Sciences Center, and on theroofs of Stockton’s carports, and plansare underway to expand and add solarcanopies on other parts of the campus.Fred Hauber, president of EasternEnergy Services of Southampton, NJ,which designed and built the awardwinningsolar array on “Big Blue” andthe carports, believes the rewards ofusing renewable energy are more thanjust monetary.“When you have a four-to-eightyearpayback and then have no electricbills, and you’re not causing any fossilfuels to be burned, what’s that worth?What’s that worth to your children andyour grandchildren and your greatgrandchildren?”Hauber said. “We’regoing to wreck the earth if we don’tpay attention to what we’re doing.”New Jersey government andbusiness leaders have been lauded byconsumer watchdog groups for theirgreen efforts. The state’s RenewableEnergy Incentive Program (REIP)provides rebates that reduce theupfront cost of installing alternativeenergy systems like solar and wind,toward the goal of producing 30percent of electricity from renewablesources by 2020.A prototype for green constructionis Stockton’s state-of-the-art CampusCenter, opening in 2011.The Center, providing space fordining, bookstore, lounges and offices,will use 25 percent less energy thanstandard construction and 40 percentless water.It will be heated and cooledthrough the College’s existingsummer 20109

green projects“Stockton College canbe called a leader ingreen initiatives.”– Dr. Edward Salmon,of Salmon Venturesand chair of theHughes Center Steering Committee.Campus Center renderingCampus Center interior renderinggeothermal system under parking lot#1. In addition, the entire buildingenvelope is super-insulated.With the environmental controls(HVAC), there are lots of specificzones. Each zone is independentfrom another. The temperature can bemaintained specifically to an area, asopposed to a whole wing. So when azone is not in use, it can be shut down.The Center’s storm waterreclamation system is also built withsustainability in mind.In standard construction, explainedHarry Collins, director of Stockton’sfacilities planning office, storm waterruns off into local bodies of water andeventually ends up in ocean.“Underground fresh water levelsdrop over time,” he said. “With thissystem, you get to manage the rainfall.You maintain it on site. It isn’t allowed toflow to a stream or lake or river and intothe ocean. It perks down into the groundand into the aquifer for drinking water.”The storm water collection systemwill also irrigate an on-site “raingarden” planted with indigenous andadapted species.Stockton spearheaded “green”initiatives before “green” became acatch-word.A geothermal unit, still being usedtoday to heat and cool buildings oncampus, was installed in 1994.The system is a testament toStockton’s early commitment to theenvironment.At that time, it was an innovationof unprecedented scale, said ProfessorLynn Stiles from the School of NaturalSciences and Mathematics, who wasinstrumental in developing the system.“Geothermal pumps had beenused at institutions, but no one hadever built anything of this size or thismagnitude before,” said Stiles. “Itremained the largest such system formore than a decade. Larger systemswere built elsewhere primarily becauseof what we had done.”Stiles added that the Stocktongeothermal unit was so unique, energyexperts from both here and abroadhave come to the College to observeits functioning. It’s constructed so thatits operations are visible.Stockton has also been the siteof international, national and regionalconferences related to geothermaltechnology.“We trained more than a thousandengineers on the fundamentals of thedesign of geothermal systems. Oursystem’s influence is immeasurable,”said Stiles.Stiles said in its first year ofoperation, the geothermal unit savedthe College close to $400,000 in heatingand cooling costs. The savings haveincreased over the years because thecost of energy has increased, he added.“The College just recently—becauseof the success (of the geothermal unit)—put in the country’s first commercialapplication of Aquifer Thermal EnergyStorage (ATES), which is the next stepin these type of systems. This could beequally as big,” said Stiles.Stiles said Stockton historically hasbeen open to new ideas and has beenway ahead of its time when it comes toenvironmental initiatives.In the 1970s, the College set up anexperimental “Energy House” for Stiles’colleague, the late Harold Taylor, whowas also interested in alternative formsof energy.“We always had a lot of supportfrom the administration,” Stiles said,adding that students were also giventhe green light to start environmentallyconscious projects, including a majorrecycling effort on campus.“This was long before recyclingprograms were mandated in New10 summer 2010

“’re not causing anyfossil fuels to be burned,what’s that worth? What’sthat worth to your childrenand your grandchildren andyour great-grandchildren?”– Fred HauberPresident, Eastern Energy Services Inc.Installing solar panelsSolar panelsJersey or any place else in the country,”said Stiles.Stockton students were academicallyengaged in environmental projects rightfrom the start.Stiles points out that for about fiveyears, the geothermal project receivedfunds to support several dozen studentresearchers. They worked with facultyin physics, biology, environmentalscience, chemistry and economics with$1 million in grants.“Another important aspect of ourcommitment is that the College has hadan energy certificate program, whichrequires a research project or internshipin energy, since 1984,” Stiles stated.Stockton students are still verymuch involved.During Spring Break 2010,Stockton students were among morethan two dozen college studentswho pitched in, helping Habitat forHumanity assess homes for energyefficiency in East Trenton. The energyaudit service project was conductedjointly by AmeriCorps and New JerseyPublic Interest Research Group.While Stockton is at the vanguardof sustainability, the College is notalone in its “green” thinking.A poll by Stockton’s WilliamJ. Hughes Center for Public Policyfound that a majority of southernNew Jersey residents favor renewableforms of energy.“On just the surface, the publicloves alternative sources of energy;but they don’t fully understand theeconomics. To have sources likesolar and wind power, there mustbe government incentives to makeit financially do-able. And we (NewJersey) have incentives—big-time,”said Dr. Edward Salmon, presidentof Salmon Ventures and chair of theHughes Center Steering Committee.New Jersey’s generous solarrebate and SREC (Solar RenewableEnergy Certificate) programs offerhomeowners and businesses hugeincentives to go solar.Salmon points to the major solarprojects launched by Toms RiverSchool District in Ocean County and bythe South Jersey Health Care’s ElmerHospital in Salem County.Like the Toms River School Districtand Elmer Hospital, Stockton, with its“dynamic” management, will stay inthe environmental forefront, he said.“Stockton College can be calleda leader in green initiatives,” saidSalmon. “I think President Saatkampand the College’s board of trusteesmade a decision that they wanted toset an example by partnering with the(State) Board of Public Utilities in greenindustry projects.“You could categorize it simply asbeing a good steward.”For more information on Stockton’scommitment to the environment go to:summer 201011

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines