SOU To Study Building A Biomass Cogeneration Plant

Southern Oregon University officials say a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of a 1.2-megawatt woody-biomass cogeneration plant on the campus may lead to the real deal. Such a power plant could meet 100% of SOU’s electrical needs as well as 70% of its heating demand, they said. “SOU […]

Southern Oregon University officials say a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of a 1.2-megawatt woody-biomass cogeneration plant on the campus may lead to the real deal.

Such a power plant could meet 100% of SOU’s electrical needs as well as 70% of its heating demand, they said.

“SOU is strongly committed to environmental sustainability,” said university President Mary Cullinan in a prepared statement. “Our plan is to make the campus climate-neutral by 2050, so biomass may be one option for us.”

The grant award announced last week comes at an opportune time, said Drew Gilliland, SOU’s director of facilities management and planning.

“Two of our four steam heat boilers are nearing the end of their useful life,” he said. “If we were to make this change, the remaining two boilers would be converted to back up heat generation when needed.” The two older boilers, now heated by natural gas with an oil backup, are more than 40 years old, he said, adding, “We cross our fingers when we start them.”

From The Mail Tribune: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120803/NEWS/208030329

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