Posted by: John Chadwick | April 30, 2011

Rutgers Day Showcases University’s Bold New Plan for Solar Energy

 Bold New Plan for Solar Energy is Shown on Rutgers Day

Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick listens as Utility Operations Director Joe Witkowski explains the details of a plan to use solar energy to power the Livingston Campus.

Rutgers’ bold vision for a campus powered by solar energy was a focal point for Rutgers Day 2011. Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick was among the many who visited a Voorhees Mall site to hear about the plan from the university’s director of utility operations, and to view the designs and models for the canopies.

“When we get this done, it will be the largest canopy system in the nation,” said Joe Witkowski, the utility operations director.

The canopies, which will be constructed in parking areas on the Livingston Campus, will provide 53 percent of Livingston’s power. Combined with the already existing solar energy farm, the Livingston Campus will have 64 percent of its power provided by renewable solar energy.

Over a 20 year period, the project will save the university $28 million.

The university is on track to award the contract in June, and construction is expected to begin in September. The project is expected to be finished in December of 2012.

McCormick also reviewed another of the university’s solar initiatives, taking a “virtual tour” of a prototype solar house, which will be built in Newark this summer by a team of students from Rutgers and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Once it is tested, the house will be dismantled and transported to Washington as part of the international U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.


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