MSU Trustees Set to Vote on Energy Transition Plan
Under the plan, the university will get 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Trustees are expected to vote Friday, April 13. Video by fox47news.comvideo
Michigan State University is mainly run by its own power source. The on-campus T.B. Simon Power Plant is powered 50% by burning coal, a number some student activists consider alarming.
"It's poisoning the air that 47,000 students have to breath in every day," said Jordan Lindsay from MSU Greenpeace.
To move away from burning fossil fuels, a committee at MSU developed an energy transition plan. The goal is to power the campus with 40% renewable energy by 2030.
"We came up with a plan with milestones and targets that we feel are aggressive but achievable with the technology we know of today," said Jennifer Battle.
Battle is the assistant director for the Office of Campus Sustainability and a leading member of the committee. She says if targets are met, MSU's utility cost could be slashed by up to 25%, which would be about $90 million in avoided energy costs over a period of 10 years.
However, student groups like MSU Greenpeace say the plan is not ambitious enough and are urging trustees to vote no on the proposal.
"We are hoping they vote no on the proposed energy plan so we can make a better plan that does actually have a date for retiring the coal plant as well as a full transition to 100% renewable energy," Lindsay said.
The plan being voted on is not as aggressive, but MSU trustee Dianne Byrum says it's realistic.
"We're within cost constraints too and technology constraints. We know with current technology, 25% by 2025 is robust but it's doable. We can do that as a university and we can do that without doing it on the backs of tuition increases on students," Byrum said.