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Meet the Main Energy Plant: a hidden world reducing University emissions

By District Energy posted 11-18-2019 17:28


Natalie Rademacher, Minnesota Daily


Tucked away near the Mississippi River over by Sanford Hall lies the University of Minnesota’s Main Energy Plant, which is responsible for supplying energy to the Minneapolis campus.

The plant uses a unique combined heat and power system that is helping reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions. Since it began operating in 2017, the plant has helped reduce around one-tenth of the University’s carbon emissions, said Shane Stennes, the University’s director of sustainability. This is a significant step in helping the University reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. 

A more efficient plant

About 65 percent of the University’s emissions come from heat and electricity, Stennes said. 

While it is common for universities to produce their own energy, the University of Minnesota is unique because it is pioneering initiatives that help reduce its carbon footprint. 

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