Eastern Illinois University Plant

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The Eastern Illinois University Power Plant is a coal-fired plant built in 1925. In 2009 the University submitted permits for a new biomass facility to replace the coal plant, including possible wind turbines. The new plant will be a “biomass gasifier” that will fill University heating and cooling needs by burning nontreated wood chips obtained as lumber industry by-products. The proposal is the largest project in campus history in terms of the dollar amount.[1]

Under the umbrella of an $80 million performance contract, construction of a new energy facility began in 2009. Known as Eastern’s Renewable Energy Center, it houses four boilers: two boilers burn biomass and two burn natural gas with a fuel oil backup. EIU’s campus energy needs can be met by running any two of the four boilers. Eastern’s old steam plant burned its last coal on Dec. 14, 2010, and the new facility opened on Oct. 7, 2011.[2]

Articles and Resources


  1. Kimberly Teplitzky,"Eastern Illinois University Switches Off Coal", Sierra Student Coalition, October 2, 2009.
  2. "Renewable Energy Center," Eastern Illinois University, accessed August 2012.

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