MSU board OKs Energy Transition Plan

Contact: Jennifer Battle, Office of Campus Sustainability: (517) 884-0714,; Tom Oswald, Media Communications: (517) 432-0920, cell (517) 281-7129,

Apr 13, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has voted to adopt the university’s Energy Transition Plan, a plan that will guide the university’s future energy decisions.

More than a year in the making, the plan was created by the Energy Transition Steering Committee, a 24-member group of students, faculty and staff whose charge was to develop a plan to help MSU reliably meet its future energy needs while keeping a close eye on costs and environmental impacts.

The ultimate goal of the plan is to help create an environment in which the university is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

“This is an important step toward a renewable future at MSU,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “This plan will set standards and govern future energy decisions, similar to how the Campus Master Plan guides the university’s growth.”

The plan has three specific goals:

  • Improve the physical environment of the campus. That means the pursuit of aggressive, sustainable energy conservation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the re-investment of energy savings for future renewable technologies.
  • Invest in sustainable energy research and development. The university will strive to promote sustainable energy research by using the campus as a living, learning laboratory for developing, evaluating and demonstrating new technologies.
  • Become an educational leader in sustainable energy. MSU will apply its knowledge to improve the quality of life for local, regional and national communities. The university will share what it learns through its energy-transition process.

Currently, the chief power provider to MSU’s 5,200-acre campus is the T.B. Simon Power Plant. Located on the south end of campus, the power plant burns coal, natural gas and biomass to produce steam that is used for heat and electricity. The university also has two solar arrays that are used to produce on-campus energy, as well as a geothermal system currently under construction.

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