Campus Facilities – Energy Management is taking a proactive approach to develop and utilize sustainable and cost effective sources to serve Mizzou's energy needs. Three current areas of focus include: biomass, solar, and wind. Including these renewable energy technologies in the campus energy portfolio will help achieve campus sustainability goals and provide Mizzou with clean reliable energy.
Regional Biomass Provides Mizzou with Sustainable Energy
Campus Facilities – Energy Management has led the way in developing viable biomass fuels for use in the MU Power Plant. A partnership with campus researchers in Agriculture, Ag Engineering, Engineering, Forestry, and University Extension 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.
MU's Power Plant 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.
MU is expanding its utilization of renewable biomass energy for the campus. Construction is underway to replace one of the plant's solid fuel-fired boilers with a 100% biomass fueled boiler. This new boiler, expected to be operational in mid 2012, will reliably serve MU's future energy needs with clean sustainable energy. The new boiler will use over 100,000 tons annually of biomass from various sources in Missouri and will reduce MU's fossil fuel use by 25%. 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.
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 panel array and wind turbine on campus. These renewable energy demonstration projects are accessible 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, please visit the renewable energy dashboard.
With support from a Missouri Department of Natural Resources Renewable Energy grant, a feasibility of a solar thermal system was recently completed. This study demonstrated that solar thermal technologies can be attractive in Missouri, especially for facilities heating with retail natural gas, electricity, or LP Gas (this report is available for download here).
Campus Facilities – Energy Management is also looking into the feasibility of buying a portion of its electricity needs from wind energy located in areas more suitable for wind energy production.
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 sources of sustainable energy.
Recently, a team of plant personnel and 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 primary goal of the team is to develop long-term renewable biomass fuels for MU which can be sourced in a cost effective and sustainable manor.
- Renewable Energy Dashboard
- Utility Production
- Combined Heat and Power
- Mizzou Advantage
- Mizzou Advantage – Sustainable Energy
- MU Sustainability Office
- MU Forestry