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 and will result in over 30% of MU’s energy coming from renewable energy resources.
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. Since 2006, MU's plant has blended 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.
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 will use over 100,000 tons annually of waste wood 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 possibly other available types of biomass.
An ongoing partnership with campus researchers is yielding valuable information and results on burning woody biomass and waste agricultural products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support economic development in Missouri. Future bio-energy crops are also an area of focus.
A team of plant personnel and campus researchers came together to develop biomass specifications to meet the new biomass boilers needs, categorize the various resources of biomass supply for MU, and identify potential research opportunities to enhance the development and utilization of biomass fuels. The team was successful in developing a long-term biomass fuel source for MU which is being sourced in a cost effective and sustainable manner.
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 solar photovoltaic (PV) panel array and wind turbine on campus. These renewable energy demonstration projects, along with another solar PV system installed at the MU Research Reactor, are 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 is being 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 is also buying a portion of the electricity for the campus from wind energy resources located in areas more productive for wind energy.
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