Illinois university permits new boilers at campus plant

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking comment until Dec. 13 on a draft air permit that would allow the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to install three new boilers at its existing central steam plant located southwest of the main campus.

The new boilers would be fired on natural gas and oil. The new boilers would replace three existing boilers that also fire gas and oil. The Illinois EPA has reviewed UIUC’s application and made a preliminary determination that the application for the proposed project meets applicable requirements.

The new boilers would be located at UIUC’s existing Abbott Power Plant. This plant supplies steam to the campus as well as generates some of the electricity used by the campus. The three new boilers would combust natural gas and fuel oil to supply steam to the university campus, as well as to generate electricity. The primary fuel would be natural gas and distillate fuel oil would be a backup fuel to address any interruptions and curtailments in the supply of natural gas.

The three new boilers would be constructed in phases. In phase one, two existing natural gas/oil-fired boilers would be dismantled and removed and the first new boiler would be constructed. In phase 2, the third existing boiler would be dismantled and removed, and the second new boiler would be constructed. The third new boiler would also be constructed at that time or later, in phase 3.

The university’s website says that the Abbott Power Plant contains the following equipment:

  • Three natural gas boilers, three coal boilers, and two heat recovery steam generators with a nameplate capacity totaling 1,265,000 lbs/hr of steam.
  • Ten turbine generators with a total of 84 MW of capacity.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.