U to use natural gas in emergencies

The U has announced that it willswitch from coal to natural gas asthe backup fuel in emergency situationsfor its many buildings andoperations.”After careful discussions andevaluations involving Questar andUniversity administrators, the decisionwas made to eliminate coalas a backup option,” said Pieter vander Have, assistant vice presidentfor plant operations. “Not onlydoes this help the environment, italso eliminates the need to repairand or replace aging coal handlingequipment for the boilers.”Since 1993, coal was used exclusivelyas the backup fuel for theU, on which it rarely relied. Everyyear the U still burned off thestored coal, however, creating environmentalchallenges.”The extra cost to students willbe totally insignificant,” van derHave said. “The increase in costwill be $20,000, but the operationand maintenance cost will decreaseabout that much.”Also, the U said it is close to anagreement that will help reducethe amount of fossil fuel utilitycompanies use to generate electricityon campus.The U added that it is in the finalstages of negotiations for the acquisitionof wind-generated electricity,as well as the hydropowerthe U has already purchased. Betweenthe two sources, the U willacquire about 35 million kilowattsof electricity through non-fossilfuel [email protected]