West Campus Steam Plant Upgrade
This year, Penn State won’t be getting coal in their stocking for two reasons: (1) they’ve been a good university this year by agreeing to transition to alternative energy; (2) due to (1), they won’t need it. Yes, that’s righ,t ladies and gentlemen, West Campus Steam Plant is getting an upgrade, after 80 years of coal-burning. No more dirty baby-diamonds for us!
The $200 million+ construction could start as early as 2012. It may kind of pricey, but as Office of the Physical Plant (OPP) spokesman Paul Ruskin said, “We look at this as a 100-year decision” – this is a long-term plan with long-term impact. While the current plant operates efficiently and has no problems, the university is aiming to enhance their use of environmentally sound resources. Their goal is to reduce emissions 17.5% by 2012.
Not so surprisingly, this decision was announced a few weeks after the Beyond Coal protests. The activists hoped to show PSU administrators how much support fellow students had for their clean-fuel cause. Even CATA buses showed their support with honks as they drove by the scene. After hearing about the renovations, Nathaniel Meyer, Campus Organizer of the Sierra Club (the environmental group that runs Beyond Coal), said that this is “a huge step for Penn State as a clean energy leader.” So once again, kudos to the dear ol’ white and blue.