After years of protests and negotiations, Penn State will convert its steam power plant from coal to natural gas energy. While natural gas is touted as a cleaner source of energy in many ways, the Board of Trustees plans to bring the fuel to campus is sure to ruffle some feathers.
Last night, 6 News at WJAC learned that the natural gas project will pose serious concerns for State College. The steam plant is located on the West side of campus, but the source of the natural gas is conveniently “on the other end of campus.” The Trustees didn’t want to build an underground ten-inch pipeline through campus because it could interfere with infrastructure and future development.
So what happens when Penn State wants something that’s out of reach? They pass the problem to State College. The quickest route would involve building a pipeline on College Avenue. This would devastate the shops along that street. As a result, Penn State is now consulting neighborhood groups to transport natural gas on a street that runs parallel to College Avenue. Mayor Elizabeth Goreham says that these talks are going “smoothly” and we can expect a better report in February.
6 News said the natural gas pipeline should be completed by Spring 2015.
Of course, the coal-carrying dump trucks could run natural gas, but that’s just a pipe dream of mine.