Office of Public Relations

Pomona, NJ  08240



Richard Stockton College to Launch Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage Project

Latest “Green” Energy Program, first of its kind in U.S., Expected to Pay For Itself in Less Than 10 Years


For Immediate Release  

Tuesday, February 17, 2005

Contact:   Tim Kelly

                  Stockton Public Relations

                  (609) 652-4950


GALLOWAY TWP., NJ – The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is developing yet another cutting edge “green” technology that saves precious energy and operating expenses and reduces pollution.


At Wednesday’s meeting of the College Board of Trustees, the Board voted to authorize a $237,000 bid waiver for the design and construction management contract for what is believed to be the nation’s first aquifer thermal energy storage project (ATES.)


Simply stated, the ATES system utilizes the cold groundwater found in Stockton’s soil during the winter months.  The water is pumped from the ground through a cooling tower to further reduce its temperature. This chilled water is then returned to the aquifer at a different location for storage and utilized during the summer for air conditioning the college buildings without using the traditional “chillers”.  As a result, the main use of electrical energy for cooling the buildings in the summer is for the fan power used for extracting heat from the water and for powering the water pumps.


“This type of a system is estimated to be 15 to 30 times more energy efficient than conventional air conditioning systems,” said Professor Lynn Stiles, who heads the project.


The Board authorized the bid waiver because there is currently one firm available to do the work, IF Technology of Arnhem in the Netherlands.


“These types of systems are fairly common in The Netherlands, which shares some seasonal and geographic similarities with this part of New Jersey,” said Stiles.  “We have soft, sandy soil that is good for drilling, and very cool winters.”


Following the design and construction management phase of the project, construction may begin, estimated to cost approximately $544,000.00.  The college expects to deduct at least $100,000 of that cost from a New Jersey Clean Energy Program rebate, and possibly as much as $140,000.  Construction of the project is estimated to be completed by December of 2005 in order to be operational to cool the college buildings during the summer of 2006.


Stiles estimates there would be a straight payback to the College’s investment within nine years after the installation of the system.  


The ATES program is the latest “green” energy program at Stockton, a pioneer in the field.  In 1991, Stockton installed what was then the world’s largest, closed-loop geothermal energy system to help heat and cool college buildings, again through the use of the local groundwater.  Stockton also has photovoltaic panels atop the Arts and Science Building and South Jersey’s largest fuel cell, a unit that generates up to six percent of the College’s electricity in an environmentally friendly manner while providing hot water and heat for college buildings.


In addition, the College alerts its staff and faculty to turn off appliances and electrical devices during potential “brownout” situations in the summer months by issuing “Energy Alert” messages via computer e-mail when appropriate.


“We are committed to viable clean energy alternatives and to the responsible use of tax and tuition dollars,” Stiles said.