University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire Plant
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has three boilers housed in the university heating plant that convert water into steam that heats the campus and a few surrounding facilities. The two larger 60,000 lbs/hr boilers burn a mixture of coal, #2 fuel oil, or natural gas during the winter months. In the summer months, a third smaller 50,000 lbs/hr boiler burns #2 fuel oil or natural gas. A mixture of up to 10% alternative fuels can be used in the larger boilers: wood pellets and shredded tires have been used.
The plant burns bituminous coal, which has a carbon content between 45 and 86 percent. It is purchased from Kentucky’s Alpha Coal Sales Inc. and transported by truck, rail, and barge. Coal is the main heating fuel for the university because, according to a University report, "it is the cheapest dependable fuel."
After the coal is burned, the remaining fly ash is contracted to the highest bidder. Veolia Environmental Services currently has a contract for the ash and transports it to their Seven Mile Creek Landfill located on the outskirts of Eau Claire.
The Sierra Club contends that the Eau Claire plant, along with the University of Wisconsin's La Crosse, Stevens Point, and Stout coal-burning plants all are in violation of the EPA’s Clean Air Act because they didn't install modern pollution controls when making plant renovations.
- Corey James Hilber, Sarah Jean Peterson, Dr. Kristina Beuning, [www.uwec.edu/Chancellor/upload/CNTreportFINAL2.pdf "State of the University: UW‐Eau Claire Carbon Emissions and Recommendations For Achieving Carbon Neutrality 2008"] Report to the University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire Chancellor 2008
- "UW-L rally: Burning coal isn’t cool" La Crosse Tribune, September 29, 2009
Related SourceWatch articles
- Campus coal plants
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Opposition to existing coal plants
- Coal and jobs
- Coal-fired power plant capacity and generation
- Coal phase-out
- Coal plant conversion projects
- Coal plants near residential areas
- Anne C. Mulkern, "Colleges Are Battlegrounds for Coal Fight," Greenwire, October 14, 2009.
- Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign, Sierra Club, September 2009.
- "DOE Announces Winners of Annual University Coal Research Grants," July 7, 2005.
- American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment