Utility Production

MU’s Combined Heat and Power plant has been providing reliable steam and electricity for the MU campus from its current location since 1923. Today the plant is equipped with six boilers, four steam turbine generators, two gas turbine generators with steam heat recovery, and five deep water wells providing steam, electricity, and water to the MU campus.

Electric Production

Image: Gas turbine generator

Gas turbine generator

Electricity for the campus is produced in steam turbine generators using high pressure steam from the plant's boilers and gas turbine generators fired with natural gas. A portion of the steam is then extracted from the turbines to provide the campus with steam.

Use of various Combined Heat and Power technologies allows the plant to produce a significant portion of campus electricity at nearly twice the efficiency of a conventional power plant, resulting in cost savings for MU.

The plant has four steam turbine generators ranging in size from 6 MW to 19 MW and two gas turbine generators rated at 13 MW.  Combined, they are capable of meeting the entire campus electricity requirements. Having a full capacity power plant allows MU to purchase low-cost interruptible wholesale electricity from other sources when economically feasible.

Image: A Power Plant employee inspects the Riley spreader-stoker boiler.

Stoker boiler

Steam Production

Steam for the MU campus is produced in the plant's boilers and heat recovery steam generators. The boiler technologies include stoker boilers, a bubbling fluidized-bed boiler, a gas/oil fired boiler, and heat recovery boilers. The plant uses a variety of fuels to make steam for MU.  This fuel flexibility helps the plant provide reliable and cost effective utilities for the MU campus.

The steam passes through the turbine generators is to cogenerate electricity before it is delivered to the campus. Steam delivered to the MU campus is used for heating, sterilization, production of chilled water, and other thermal energy uses.

Water Production

Image: Faucet running water into a drinking glass

Five deep well pumping stations located throughout the campus supply MU with high-quality water. Each pumping station pumps water from deep underground aquifers to clear well storage reservoirs. The water is then delivered to the various uses on campus. MU's high quality water supply meets all applicable federal and state requirements for a public drinking water system and is tested regularly. To view the most recent Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report), click here.

Water on the MU campus is used for drinking, irrigation, chilled water production and steam/electricity production.

Image: Front-loader mixing wood chips into a coal pile.

Wood chips are delivered to the plant from a local supplier

Power Plant Fuels

The MU Power Plant uses a variety of fuels to reliably and economically provide energy for the campus. The plant’s newest fuel is sustainably sourced biomass to fire a 100% biomass-fired boiler installed in 2013.  This biomass boiler is providing MU with clean sustainable energy. The boiler will use over 100,000 tons annually of biomass from various sources in Missouri. The boiler technology being utilized supports the use of a wide variety of regional biomass sources such as; wood, corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus, and other available types of biomass. This renewable biomass reduces fuel costs, lowers emissions, and helps our local economy.

The plant also blends up to 10% of locally supplied woody biomass in its stoker boilers. The woody biomass is supplied from a variety of sources including: mill waste, development clearing, and discarded pallets.

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