Princeton Builds Energy: Geo-exchange lays the foundation for a ‘net-zero’ campus

Written by
Woman standing in garden
Denise Valenti, Office of Communications
Oct. 24, 2022

For Princeton University to meet its energy needs, along with its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by its 300th anniversary in 2046, a complete rethinking is required on how energy is used and supplied in every lab, every office, every dorm room, in each parking lot and garage — even on pathways and playing fields.

The groundwork for this massive undertaking is being installed now as the University undergoes one of the most extensive building programs in its history over the next decade. Princeton is phasing out steam generation for heating and instead implementing a new low-temperature heating water energy system driven by electric heat pumps, thermal storage and geo-exchange, which captures heat from inside campus buildings in the summer and stores that energy in the ground until it is needed again in the winter. The University is one of the first sites in the nation to combine these technologies at this scale.

Environment Tags
Research Themes