Western Illinois University Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Western Illinois University operates and maintains a heating plant that provides steam for heating and cooling of campus buildings. The steam is produced from two chain grate stoker coal boilers and three natural gas fired boilers. The coal is supplied by regional coal supplies within Illinois, while natural gas is procured through indexed, spot, and short term fixed rate agreements. The gas boilers are also convertible to #6 fuel oil should gas service be lost to the campus.[1]

In a March 2007 report the University discusses plans to upgrade its campus heating plant: two gas boilers need major rebuilding, and electrical and other building code issues as well as a large amount of capital upgrade are required of the coal delivery and handling systems. The proposed campus master plan advocates construction of a new heating plant north of the existing physical plant. The new plant would potentially be an Internally Recirculating Coal Fluidized Bed (IRCFB) steam boiler, which the report says is "recognized as a clean coal technology." The plan is considered to have high priority because "of the vast cost efficiencies derived from eliminating much of the University’s industrial natural gas use."[1]

In April 2011, WIU restated its plan to decommission the coal-fired porton of its heating plant and rely solely on gas boilers. Planning of the new plant will begin at the end of 2012. The decommission of the use of coal could begin in summer 2011, however it is contingent on other existing projects. That is also the estimated time when the masonry stacks will disappear.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Western Illinois University Energy Management Strategy" Western Illinois University Board of Trustees Report, March 9, 2007
  2. Sally Adams, "Coal portion of WIU heating plant to be decommissioned" The McDonough County Voice, April 6, 2011.

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