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Friday, September 24, 2010

Coal used to power “greenest” campus in state

From an article by Dustin Klein in The Pointer, UW-Stevens Point:

Many students would agree that the UW-Stevens point campus is very eco-friendly. Those same students might not know that UWSP burns coal at the physical plant on the north end of campus.


Joseph Rohrer, a sophomore forestry major, felt it speaks volumes about our university.

“Obviously, I’m not happy about [burning coal]. We’re supposed to be the greenest campus in the state, so it really says something about the other campuses,” he said.

The plant is used to heat the campus’ water and buildings, which is why it needs to burn its fuel. The physical plant runs all day long, despite rumors that it only runs at night.

According to Bob Govett, a 20-year veteran of the College of Natural Resources, the State of Wisconsin and the University work out a contract on the materials they burn. It comes in three different possibilities: coal, wood pellets, or natural gas. The decision about what to burn comes down to one thing: money. The campus burns the cheapest fuel available at the time.

“The coal is purchased under state contract, paper pellets under state contract, and the gas, again, is purchased under state contract,” Govett stated.

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