U of M Morris employs biomass burner to heat campusby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of Minnesota at Morris unveils a new biomass plant Friday that will heat the entire campus.
The new $9 million biomass gasification facility will burn 9,000 tons of renewable fuel every year -- everything from corn stalks to waste wood -- to heat the entire UMM campus.
Project coordinator Joel Tallaksen said the plant will cut 96 percent of the natural gas the campus now uses to heat its 1 million square feet of buildings.
"Typically we've used about $900,000 a year in natural gas to do that, and we're hoping to switch over to biomass energy and use locally produced biomass to heat our campus."
Next year the plant will be upgraded to create electricity as well as steam heat.
The University of Minnesota at Morris already uses a wind turbine to provide the campus with more than half of the electricity it needs.