Montclair State Goes Greener with New CHCP System

co gen facilityIf you’ve noticed something strange in the air above Montclair State University in the last few days, don’t worry. The university has simply been testing its new co-gen facility, which has been venting (harmless) steam into the atmosphere to allow the plan to operate at 100 percent for testing and calibration.

The new state-of-the-art facility, a combined heating, cooling, and power (CHCP) system, will replace the campus’ existing energy plant and make the campus’ heating, cooling, and electrical systems more cost-effective, efficient, and reliable.

It will also be more environmentally friendly: The 7,500 square foot plant will provide natural gas-fired electric generation, chilled water for cooling, and steam for heat.

Located on Yogi Berra Drive, adjacent to the campus’ Car Parc Diem parking garage, the center will produce electric power of approximately 5.4 megawatts and provide full thermal service to more than 25 MSU buildings.

The CHCP project is one of many measures the university has taken to improve its carbon footprint. LEED-certified buildings, a campus-wide recycling program, mandatory use of green housekeeping products and the use of solar energy have earned the school many accolades, including the 2010 Environmental Stewardship Initiation Recognition by the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and a “Green College” rating by the Princeton Review, which has recognized Montclair State every year since the Guide to 322 Green Colleges was first published in 2009.

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  1. Great to hear it’s a green campus. So why do the new buildings on the back lot of the MSU campus have so many bright lights pointing up and sideways until late at night. It looks like the school is trying to attract the spacecraft from Close Encounters. I would hate to live north of Normal and west of Valley, altho I might get a secondhand tan for free.

  2. Yes, MSU is trying to be greener, and in several categories, it is making good strides. I was a little disappointed this new plant’s thermal service will be connected to less than half the buildings on campus. The recent MoU with the US EPA is another good thing. I believe MSU is the first college in the nation to have one.

    As to the bright lights pointing upwards, I’m sure this is for security reasons. Also, light doesn’t travel that far, so it really is just a neighbor-to neighbor issue.

  3. Silly miller.
    The upward pointing lights reflect off particulates in the air and naturally occurring condensation to create a brownish sky glow most nights with lumens roughly equivalent to a full moon. The glare would preclude any UFO sighting, much less a 3rd encounter. Hence, the security justification.

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