PSEG Opens New Energy & Environmental Resource Center

Interactive exhibits and programming to educate visitors

Jan 25, 2010, 11:15 ET from Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

SALEM, N.J., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PSEG today hosted the grand opening of its new Energy and Environmental Resource Center (EERC) featuring hands on, interactive exhibits designed to promote conversations about energy, the environment and solutions for meeting the challenges of climate change.

"The EERC reinforces PSEG's belief that it takes a multi-faceted approach to combat climate change," said PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo.  "The exhibits highlight the importance of clean baseload power like nuclear as well as the role of renewables and energy efficiency. It is our hope that visitors learn more about these important issues and how we all play an important role in protecting our environment."

Over 20,000 square feet of the 65,000 square foot facility is dedicated to public use including 6,000 square feet of exhibit space.  The EERC's exhibits explore the impact of technology, lifestyle, and public policy on energy consumption and the environment and challenge visitors to consider their own energy use and carbon footprint.  

"I commend PSEG for opening an Energy and Environment Resource Center that not only educates us about the complexities of climate change, but also shows us the many energy solutions – such as nuclear power and offshore wind – this country has available to help meet a clean energy future," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety subcommittee.  "I believe education centers like this one will help spark American clean energy ingenuity - this country's greatest source of power – for generations to come."  

One of the EERC's main exhibits is a mock containment structure where visitors can learn about nuclear power generation and explore issues like plant safety, security and used fuel management.  

The EERC also is powered in part by solar panels and a wind turbine.  A real-time data monitoring system gathers and displays information about weather conditions and energy output to demonstrate the practical use of these technologies. In addition, the EERC includes a multi-purpose room, high-tech classroom space and a lab for use by school groups, teachers and others.

"PSEG continues to be forward-thinking in its approach and community-focused in its efforts. The EERC will provide residents with a place to search out answers about how to effectively utilize alternative energies and the facts about the benefits of nuclear, solar and wind energy," said U.S. Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02).

The EERC is certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and also houses several PSEG programs and offices as well as Salem Community College's (SCC) Nuclear Energy Technology Associates Degree Program.

Through its partnership with the college, PSEG is providing space at the EERC for the energy specific courses and labs, subject matter expertise, scholarships for the first two years and paid internships at PSEG Nuclear's Salem and Hope Creek Generating Stations. In addition, SCC was awarded a $1.7 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Labor last year to assist in the development of the program.

The PSEG and SCC partnership is one of six pilot training programs being developed by the Nuclear Energy Institute.  The community college program, along with an energy academy program for high school students at Salem County Vocational Technical Schools, allows PSEG to meet its future hiring needs while also meeting the needs of the community to provide quality, high-paying jobs.

The EERC is open by appointment only. If you know a school or community group interested in visiting, please call (856) 339-EERC (3372).

Energy & Environmental Resource Center (EERC) Key Facts

What's in the EERC?

  • EERC – exhibit area, multi-purpose room, classroom and wet lab (20,000 sq. ft. of our 65,000 sq. ft. building)

  • Salem Community College Nuclear Energy Technology Program (Classroom and lab space for an Instrumentation and Control Associates degree program developed in partnership with PSEG, NEI and the SCC.)

  • PSEG offices for Emergency Operations Facility, Estuary Enhancement Program, Nuclear Development, Resource Recovery and Unified Command Center.

EERC – Key Topics and Anticipated Use  

  • The EERC is an educational center focused on a broad conversation around energy and the environment. Key topics include:
    • Energy "101"
    • Climate change
      • Population growth
      • Environmental impacts of industrialization and prosperity
      • Globalization
    • Portfolio of solutions
      • Conservation
      • Renewables
      • Clean, central station power
    • What can we all do now?
      • Public policy
      • As communities and corporations
      • As individuals

  • Exhibit area is a mixture of graphic panels, hands-on activities, interactive touch screens and videos. This strategic mix was designed to engage visitors (especially younger visitors accustomed to multiple media types) and offer flexibility to easily update the facility, keeping the exhibits modern and relevant.

  • The exhibit area and meeting, classroom and lab space are available free of charge to community groups. Programming will include:
    • Teachers' workshops
    • Educational programming for middle school students
    • Scout badges in energy and environmental sciences
    • PSEG Estuary Enhancement Program
    • Political and environmental stakeholders
    • Community events

  • Process: In designing and constructing the EERC, we worked with a talented team of architects, museum exhibit designers, media producers, exhibit fabricators, and a general contractor.

LEED Certification

  • LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification signifies that a facility is designed and built with a consideration toward energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

  • The building office space (including the Nuclear Development office area) has already received Silver certification.

  • We have applied for and expect to receive Gold certification on the newly constructed public space in the front half of the building (EERC). In designing and constructing the building, we:
    • Reduced water usage by 40%
    • Reduced energy usage by 25%
    • Replaced 10% of the energy supply with on-site solar and wind generation
    • Selected furnishings with high recycled-content
    • Installed cork flooring (a rapidly renewing resource)
    • Recycled over 90% of the construction waste

Solar and Wind Installation

  • 75kW photovoltaic solar panel array installed on the roof of the building

  • 2.3kW wind turbine on the property

  • An interactive station in the exhibit area monitors the output of both systems, tracks it over time, and compares it against real-time weather conditions.

  • We anticipate the combined output of both systems to offset approximately 10 percent of the building's energy use.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of more than $13 billion, and three principal subsidiaries: PSEG Power, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) and PSEG Energy Holdings. PSEG Nuclear is part of PSEG Power.  

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SOURCE Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)