Plans move forward to stop burning coal for state owned buildings - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Plans move forward to stop burning coal for state owned buildings

Charter St. coal plant in downtown Madison Charter St. coal plant in downtown Madison

MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Jim Doyle released plans Tuesday that will begin the process of ending coal usage that provide electricity for state owned buildings on Madison's Isthmus.

Last year, the Governor announced he would stop burning coal at the plants owned by the state downtown. The plan announced Tuesday will build one of the largest biomass projects in the nation and the Governor's office says it will create construction and green energy jobs.

A report issued Tuesday is the final step in analyzing how to move forward in providing steam and electricity to the UW-Madison campus and to steam to heat and cool state office buildings in downtown Madison. It provides technical and financial analysis for replacing or retooling all coal-burning boilers at the Charter Street Heating Plant, which serves the UW-Madison campus, and at the Capitol Heat and Power Plant, which serves the State Capitol and 11 other government buildings in Madison.

The plan suggests the following steps will help provide reliable and economical energy while minimizing the environmental impacts of the state-owned heating plants on Madison's isthmus:

  • Use biomass and natural gas as the two preferred fuel sources for the Charter Street Heating Plant.
  • Use the state's purchasing power to help create and expand local biomass markets and strengthen local economies.
  • Maintain the current location of the Charter Street Heating Plant because it is the optimal location for the steam distribution system on the campus.
  • Use new equipment and technology to meet the increasing steam capacity needs of the UW-Madison campus.
  • Burn natural gas and remove older steam and coal equipment at the Capital Heat and Power Plant.

The report also recommended that the state continue its efforts to improve energy efficiency at the UW and across state government and move forward with plans to create a new UW Biofuel Research Laboratory on site at the Charter Street Heating Plant.  The laboratory would provide opportunities to study and develop new and better ways to use renewable fuels.

Funding for the projects is provided in the Capital Budget proposal which includes $251 million for Charter Street Heating Plant and $25 million for Capital Heat and Power Plant.

The report can be found at:

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