We Are Proud of the MCIA Solar Energy Project at MCCC – An open letter to the community

Written by: Guest

Submitted by MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donohue

In recent weeks, there have been some questions from the community about the solar energy project to be installed by the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA) at Mercer County Community College (MCCC). I would like to correct some inaccurate perceptions and emphasize to the MCCC student body the major academic and operational benefits of this renewable energy initiative.

The 8-megawatt installation will be situated on approximately 45 acres of open field owned by the college. NO air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, traffic, or any other problems typically associated with development, will result. The closest solar panel to any private property is 100 yards – that’s the length of a football field.

We are excited about the solar project’s learning opportunities for students. Among the degree programs that will benefit are Solar/Energy Technology, Engineering Science, and our new Sustainability program (to begin in fall 2012). Horticulture students will help design the selection of new trees to replace any that will be removed. This project has been planned for over a year by numerous experts from the renewable energy sector. It has been presented to all governmental bodies as required. In addition, we have learned from the Mercer County Soil Conservation District that following the project’s completion, the soil at the site will actually be in better condition than it is now.

The environmental benefits are also beyond question. Project engineers estimate the installation will reduce annual atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the benefits of a forest containing over 1,500 acres of pine or fir trees. The electricity generated is equivalent to what’s needed to power over 850 homes annually. The project will reduce the burden on the electricity grid, especially critical during peak usage periods. And, the project will reduce our dependence on foreign energy.

Also indisputable are the project’s financial benefits. The energy produced is expected to meet approximately 70 percent of the college’s needs on the West Windsor campus – that’s a savings of about $750,000 annually that will help to stabilize the college budget as we move forward.

Our plans have been well publicized in the media dating back to January of 2011. The college’s newsletter ran a front page story in summer 2011 that was mailed to 20,000 community members. Notices about the project were sent to individual homeowners and the MCIA has hosted two meetings where experts explained the project to residents and addressed their concerns. The first meeting was held in June of 2011 and the second was held in early April of 2012. A third meeting on May 31 will continue this dialog.

This MCIA/MCCC solar project breaks new ground in community college education as we prepare students for a world that will move further and further away from oil consumption into greener technologies. Detailed information is available at www.mcianj.org. Please take time to stay informed about our progress as we move forward.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was submitted in response to an earlier letter to the editor submitted by Richard Campbell (Class of 2000) who wrote on behalf of MCCC neighbors who oppose the solar installation project. Campbell’s letter can be read by clicking here.

Print Friendly
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumbler Email

advert

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BULLDOZING FARMS ISN’T “GREEN” – an open letter to the the community | The VOICE - May 21, 2012

    […] 21, 2012 We Are Proud of the MCIA Solar Energy Project at MCCC – An open letter to the community Letter to the Editor […]

Transgender discussion panel succeeds despite vandalism

Including panelists, 20 people attended a transgender issues panel held at Mercer in SC 104 on April 16, 2015 despite […]

Increase in opioid deaths strikes New Jersey

Matt Carvin describes himself as a carefree, happy go lucky person before addiction entered his life. He became addicted to […]

We, the people, are being priced out of education

I was arguing with the God of the Mercer Bookstore about why I didn’t need a receipt to exchange the […]

Mercer women’s soccer welcomes new coach

Mercer women’s soccer team began this year’s season with new coach, Elyse Diamond.              Elyse […]

REVIEW: Brick oven pizza at Nomad Pizza

Walking into Nomad Pizza in Princeton on a Friday night, the smell of an old-fashioned brick oven pizza came out […]

Mercer welcomes new president Dr. Jianping Wang has fresh vision for Mercer’s direction

          [Originally published in the September 21, 2015 issue]           On July 1st, 2015 Dr. Jianping Wang began her journey […]

Dean of Liberal Arts retires after 43 years of service at MCCC

Mercer’s Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Robin Schore, is retiring at the end of this year after already have been […]

Mercer County artists display work in campus gallery

The Gallery at Mercer County Community College begins the first exhibit of the spring semester. The annual Mercer County Artists […]

Mercer County Community College Vice President Eun-Woo Chang says goodbye after less than two years

Vice President Eun-Woo Chang of Academic Affairs worked his last day in office on February 8 at Mercer County Community […]

New shuttle service to Quaker Bridge Mall

Mercer County Community College has a new shuttle bus service that will take students from the West Windsor Campus to […]

Atlantic City’s gamble doesn’t pay off for NJ students

When gambling was legalized in New Jersey in 1976, Atlantic City was touted as an economic dynamo that would be […]

College president Dr. Patricia Donohue retiring at end of semester

Mercer’s President, Dr. Patricia Donohue, is retiring at the end of this year after eight and a half years leading […]

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing