Power lines against the sky

Energy at Montclair State

Energy on Campus

Where does our energy come from?

Energy solutions are always evolving. Here’s what the University has done so far:

Co-Generation on Campus

On average, our co-generation plant provides 75% of our annual electricity.

Cogen Plant

What is Co-generation?

Co-generation is “the production of electricity using waste heat (as in steam) from an industrial process or the use of steam from electric power generation as a source of heat” (Merriam-Webster)

Our Story

Montclair State University and UMM Energy Partners, LLC formed a major public-private partnership to develop a combined heating, cooling, and power (CHCP) system for the campus.

The facility and its related improvements went online in 2013 and replaced the former energy plant which began generating steam in the 1940s and providing electricity as a co-generation plant in 1993. The project’s development resulted in more cost-effective, efficient, and reliable delivery of heating, cooling, and electrical services to campus buildings.

The plant provides natural gas-fired electric generation, chilled water for cooling, and steam for heat. The steam, condensate, and chilled water flow to and from campus buildings through the energy distribution system. Additionally, the majority of the campus’ electricity requirements are satisfied by the onsite plant, which is designed to operate continuously, producing electric power of approximately 5.4 megawatts. The plant is located on Yogi Berra Drive, adjacent to the campus’ CarParc Diem parking garage.

Our Local Utility

The remaining portion of our electricity (about 25% on average) is purchased through our local utility provider, PSE&G.

In January 2023, we entered a retail renewable energy agreement with ENGIE Resources LLC, a subsidiary of ENGIE North America Inc. under which Montclair State University will purchase Green-e™ certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from wind, solar and hydro projects across the U.S. Over the course of the agreement, the RECs purchased will contribute to support CO2 emissions avoidance by more than 7,600 metric tons, while matching 100% of the University’s forecasted retail electricity consumption from the grid. Read the full announcement.

Solar at MSU

Solar panels in parking lot #60

Where are our solar panels?

The solar field is located in Parking Lot 60. It feeds into a converter and provides a small amount of power to Alice Paul Hall in the Village.

In 2010, the University was awarded a grant through the Board of Public Utilities that allowed for the installation of a solar field. These solar installations, including one at the north end of campus in Parking Lot 60, went online in 2011.


Montclair’s MicroGrid

Power lines over campus

What’s a microgrid?

“A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously.” (energy.gov)

Why do we have one on campus?

After a freak accident in 2016 that left the University without electrical power, the University developed a MicroGrid as one of our energy management strategies. Read the full story.

Montclair is one of the few university campuses in the country to have its own MicroGrid setup. The redundancy provided by this facility has increased our flexibility in meeting energy demands and increased our resiliency to climate change.

The generators are housed in the same area as the main CHCP, next to CarParc Diem parking garage.