State Budget Committee approves Purdue energy projects

Jul 26, 2012

Purdue will use $33.1 million to move away from coal-powered energy and toward natural gas.

The money comes from what was supposed to be used to build a clean-coal boiler, but that project was canceled last year. A state committee approved the financing deal Wednesday.

Administrators say Purdue is now focusing on natural gas projects, which are more viable for the future.

The Wade Power Plant upgrades include demolishing an old coal-burning boiler and converting another coal boiler to natural gas. Crews also will install a natural gas-fired combined heat and power unit and increase steam distribution along Jischke Drive.

Purdue burned more than 170,000 tons of coal during the last fiscal year. The Wade Power Plant generates as much as 50% of the power needed for Purdue’s campus.

The upgrade plans are part of the university’s Comprehensive Energy Master Plan.