Colleges and Universities and Coal and Air Quality and Purdue University and Education & Workforce Development and Energy & Environment and Utilities

Purdue poised to cancel coal-fired power plant

February 4, 2011

Purdue University is moving to cancel plans for a new coal-fired power unit that had been strongly opposed by environmental activists.

The school's board of trustees committee passed a resolution Thursday calling for canceling the $53 million Wade Utility Plant project based on financial and regulatory concerns. The full board was scheduled to vote on that proposal Friday.

Purdue vice president of physical facilities Bob McMains told the Journal and Courier of Lafayette that the estimated increase in the cost of fuel and expected future regulations for coal use and ash disposal made the plan unworkable.

Activists had said the project would worsen air pollution and breathing disorders around the West Lafayette campus.

School officials now want to replace the campus' aging coal boiler unit with a natural gas boiler.

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