Princeton University Receives State Environmental Award

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IDEA Member Princeton University recognized for outstanding environmental achievement

Princeton University has been recognized by the State of New Jersey for its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy across campus. The highly efficient district energy facility at Princeton University, a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), plays a key role in the University's ongoing sustainability efforts.

“IDEA congratulates Princeton University for this outstanding accomplishment,” says Robert P. Thornton, President & CEO of IDEA. “Their district energy system using cogeneration has proven to be highly effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and providing additional benefits of enhanced reliability. The US Department of Energy and the Obama White House have set a goal to add 40 gigawatts of combined heat and power (CHP) capacity in the US by 2020 and this investment in CHP at Princeton demonstrates the substantial environmental achievements that can be realized with aggressive pursuit of this goal across the country.”

The annual Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards, which were announced at a ceremony in Trenton on Jan. 28, recognize environmental, academic, business, science and civic leaders from across New Jersey for protecting and enhancing the state's environment. Princeton was one of 11 winners this year, taking honors in the clean air category.

The state recognized the University for a number of initiatives, including the installation of heat recovery technology in the University's cogeneration plant and the construction of a 5.3-megawatt solar collector field on 27 acres in nearby West Windsor Township. Also recognized were: Princeton's aggressive campus design standards for new buildings, which include sustainability guidelines and energy-savings targets; the reduction of the number of vehicles used to commute to campus; and the completion of a six-month audit to implement 170 energy-saving projects across campus.

In 2008, Princeton adopted a comprehensive Sustainability Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy conservation, and provide opportunities for research, education and civic engagement. The University's goal is to reduce campus emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, despite the increase in the number of buildings on campus.

The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards are sponsored by the Office of Governor Chris Christie, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is an independent, non-profit industry association formed in 1909 with headquarters in Westborough, Massachusetts which represents the interests of over 1,600 members from 25 countries involved in operation, design, construction and optimization of district heating, district cooling and CHP (cogeneration) systems, with a majority of members in North America, as well as Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

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