*For Immediate Release:*
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April 21, 2009
*SJTA Takes Five for a Greener Future*
On the eve of the 39^th Annual Earth Day, the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) today provided an update to its Five Point Energy Initiative and explained how the plan supports Governor Corzine's Energy Master Plan to reduce environmental impacts.
According to SJTA Executive Director Bart R. Mueller, the progress made to date on the initiative is a testament to the Authority's commitment to incorporate environmental improvements into its plans while continuing to provide the traveling public with safe and efficient transportation.
"Nowhere is going green more important than on our regional transportation system," said Mueller. "The Authority-wide energy audit undertaken as the first step in the Five Point Energy Initiative adopted last year means establishing and enforcing energy conservation measures at existing facilities and exploring or adopting alternative energy sources to reduce SJTA's carbon footprint. But more importantly," emphasized Mueller, "the audit identified areas in which we can work together with the traveling public to improve the environment in the six counties we serve."
New Jersey Transportation Commissioner and SJTA Chairman Stephen Dilts said, "SJTA is a leader in economic and transportation issues. The Five Point Energy Initiative update reflects Governor Corzine's commitment to a responsible energy future which will improve the environment and overall quality of life for our residents."
The five points of the SJTA energy initiative are:
* Conduct an Authority-wide energy audit and establish its carbon footprint;
* Pursue policies and develop projects that support the New Jersey Energy Master Plan;
* Develop energy saving opportunities at SJTA sites;
* Develop conceptual designs for alternative energy projects;
* Develop programs to reduce patrons' and employees' carbon footprints.
The audit found that the majority of SJTA's energy costs are for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. In 2008, the Authority spent $2.3 million on energy, with electricity use comprising 74 percent of total annual expenditures. The Atlantic City International Airport and the tunnel portion of the Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector consume almost 74 percent of that total amount. At those two facilities, the SJTA has identified potential reductions of 33 percent and 44 percent. Several measures were identified to reduce the energy required to operate the tunnel, including the use of induction lighting technology, installation of soft starters on the motors of the jet fans and installation of a solar array on the tunnel house.
"We conducted an in-depth analysis of all of the Authority's energy costs and consumption," said Mueller. "The results of that analysis provide a benchmark for the development of energy conservation methods and will help to identify the greatest need for onsite renewable energy use."
The SJTA is implementing energy conservation measures and studying alternative energy solutions identified in the audit and will continue to monitor and measure their impact.