US$80M biomass heating plant being built at Eastern Illinois University to replace coal system; facility will burn 27,000 wood chips/year to heat campus, could eventually use corn stalks as feedstock

CHARLESTON, Illinois , October 15, 2010 () – An Eastern Illinois University heating plant under construction will burn wood chips when it cranks up next year, and could eventually burn corn stalks.

Gary Reed is director of the university's facilities planning and management. The Mattoon Journal-Gazette reports Reed told people gathered Wednesday to learn more about the new Renewable Energy Center that it will burn 27,000 tons of wood chips a year to heat the campus.

Reed said the university will consider adding grasses or corn stalks to the fuel mix after a year of operation

The $80 million energy center, under construction on the east side of the EIU campus, will replace an older heating plant that burns coal.

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