I read with interest about the geo-exchange system being installed.  I could not find an expected electricity reduction percentage, but Xiaobing Liu in 2017 analyzed 26 existing systems and reported 21 percent to 66 percent reduction in primary energy (electricity).  Where will the remaining primary energy come from?

In 2011, after Fukushima, Tom Nyquist was kind enough to listen to my presentation to consider a small modular nuclear reactor for Princeton without throwing me bodily out of his office.  Alumni may request a copy through my Tigernet email.  Princeton can no longer be the leader here, because the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is working with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation of Canada to install a micro-reactor on campus.  It will generate 5 MWe of power per module.  The modules can be ganged and modulated to meet demand, and by design, as its name implies, they are physically incapable of melting down even without external water or power — no Fukushima for Princeton.  Each module is 13m high by 3.5m in diameter, sealed and sited underground, and the initial fuel load lasts 20 years.

According to Princeton's electricity tracker, the campus is consuming about 15 MW on a cool April Sunday.  I assume power needs go up substantially in summer, as heating is mostly done by gas-fired steam in the cogen plant.  Two to four USNC modules should cover the University's remaining power needs entirely, likely at a cost comparable to or less than the geothermal installation, with zero emissions.  Waste heat can charge the geothermal system, further reducing electricity needs.  This could be done substantially before 2046, with a module expected to go online in Chalk River, Canada, in 2026.  Tom, please call UI-UC.

I'm sure this idea will really get Ms. Nissenbaum going, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

Rick Mott ’73
Ringoes, N.J.