Campus Facilities – Energy Management continues to implement sustainable and cost effective energy sources to serve Mizzou's utility needs. Biomass, solar, and wind energy technologies in MU’s energy portfolio are helping achieve campus sustainability goals with 24% of MU’s energy sourced from renewable energy resources in fiscal year 2014.
Regionally Sourced Biomass Provides MU with Sustainable Energy
Campus Facilities – Energy Management has led the way in developing viable biomass fuels for use in MU’s Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) plant. Beginning in 2006, MU began blending up to 10% of locally supplied woody biomass in its stoker boilers. The woody biomass is supplied from a variety of sources including: wood mill residue, forestry management, , and discarded shipping pallets.
Most recently, MU expanded its utilization of renewable biomass energy for the campus with the installation of a 100% biomass fueled boiler placed into operation in 2013. This biomass boiler provides steam to MU’s high efficient CCHP system to reliably serve MU with sustainable electrical and thermal energy. The boiler uses over 100,000 tons annually of wood residue biomass from various sources in Missouri. The boiler technology selected has the capability to utilize a wide variety of regional biomass sources such as; wood, corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus, and possibly other available types of biomass. Plant personnel and campus researchers colabortated to develop biomass specifications to meet the new biomass boiler’s needs. The effort resulted in the development of long-term biomass fuel source for MU which is being sourced in a cost effective and sustainable manner. The sustainability standards developed through this collaboration are comprehensive helping to ensure the long-term health and viability of Missouri’s forests and natural resources.
The benefits associated with the use of biomass at MU include:
- Helping our environment through reduction of emissions, including greenhouse gases,
- Supporting MU's goal to become more sustainable in its use of energy,
- Creating "Green Energy Jobs" in Missouri to grow, prepare, and transport sustainable biomass,
- Helping MU researchers develop new ways to grow, prepare, and transport biomass feed stocks.
Harvesting Energy Directly From the Sun and Wind
In 2012, Campus Facilities – Energy Management installed both a 34 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) panel array and 20 kilowatt wind turbine on campus. These renewable energy demonstration projectsare available to MU students and faculty to see and learn firsthand how these technologies are best applied in Missouri. All energy produced from both these projects will help serve MU's energy needs. To see real-time energy production from these renewable energy demonstration projects, please visit the renewable energy dashboard.
In early 2014, a solar thermal system was installed to collect heat from the sun to heat make-up water for the CCHP plant. This solar system uses evacuated heat tube technology to efficiently collect heat and transfer it to the plant make-up water system.
The solar thermal system demonstration concept was developed following a feasibility study supported from a Missouri Department of Natural Resources Renewable Energy grant. This study demonstrated that solar thermal technologies can be attractive in Missouri (this report is available for download here).
Campus Facilities – Energy Management also buys electricity for MU from wind turbine generators located in areas more productive for wind. Last fiscal year (FY14) this wind generated electricity was11% of the electricity used on campus.
MU recently joined the EPA’s Green Power Partnership as a leader in using renewable electrical energy on its campus. For more information about EPA’s Green Power Partnership program and MU’s success in the use of “green power” view our press release or go to: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/partners/universityofmissouri.htm
Mizzou Advantage Sustainable Energy Research
Campus Facilities – Energy Management has a long history of partnering with MU's academic and research communities to collaborate on energy technologies and research. This continues with the development of the Mizzou Advantage Sustainability Energy Initiative. We are partnering with many of MU's top researchers on various research projects to support the development and improvement of sources of sustainable energy.
- Renewable Energy Dashboard
- Utility Production
- Combined Heat and Power
- Mizzou Advantage
- Mizzou Advantage – Sustainable Energy
- MU Sustainability Office
- MU Forestry