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A photo of the front of the power plant showing the smokestacks against a blue sky and nearby green trees.

T.B. Simon Power Plant to be coal free by 2016

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April 9, 2015

In a move that will reduce emissions at its T.B. Simon Power Plant as well as significantly advance its Energy Transition Plan, Michigan State University is taking steps to stop burning coal by the end of 2016, with a majority of coal purchasing and burning ending in 2015.

President Lou Anna K. Simon announced this endeavor on April 10, 2015, during a live webcast called “A Conversation with President Simon about MSU’s Energy Future.”

In 2014, coal made up approximately 28 percent of the power plant's fuel sources. Historically, coal has provided cheap, available energy to heat and power the campus. Although it is a high emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and other pollutants, the T.B. Simon Power Plant has consistently worked to reduce emissions, trap particulate matter and use coal as efficiently as possible to reduce overall consumption. Since 2009-10, the campus has decreased coal use by 65 percent, which comprises the largest contribution to the 18 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

Other strategies discussed during the webcast included a substation that will help make the power plant more efficient as well as power FRIB, and possible partnerships to explore large scale renewable energy.

For more information about the webcast and MSU's plan to phase out coal, view the MSU Today story.

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities builds and maintains the physical environment for Michigan State University’s education, research and outreach missions, and directs the university’s sustainability initiatives and long-term infrastructure planning goals. The unit’s experienced team of professionals keeps MSU running 24/7/365, delivering an immense menu of services and providing expert analysis for university objectives. Call (517) 353-1760 for emergency service.