You are here

Projects Updates for Stop Burning Coal at Abbott Power Plant

Search tips:
  • This form will search for words in the title OR the description. If you would like to search for the same term(s) across both the title and description, enter the same search term(s) in both fields.
  • This form will search for any of the words you enter in a field, not the exact phrase you enter. If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put double quotes (") around the phrase. For example, if you search for Bike Path you will get results containing either the word Bike OR the word Path, but if you search for "Bike Path" you will get results containing the exact phrase Bike Path.
  1. ME 470 Enerdrape Project Presentation

    Attached is information about the senior design project presentations scheduled for next Tuesday.


    The project that we have been helping with is scheduled to present at 8:30 on Tuesday in 4100 LuMEB, Abbott Enerdrape System.


    Mike Larson

  2. N-G Mailbag question: UI's sources of electricity

    A representative from the News-Gazette reached out to Steve Breitwieser with questions regarding Abbot Power Plant:

    Please also see the attached spreadsheet with data on steam supplied buildings.

    Hi Kathy,


    Abbott Power Plant generates all district heating and almost 275,000

    megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year using a high-efficiency

    cogeneration process, which simultaneously produces both steam and

    electricity. When the campus load for heat is highest during the

    winter months, the plant, along with the two utility-scale solar

    farms, provides almost all the electricity that the campus needs,

    with the remainder coming from wind energy that is imported onto the

    campus grid. Throughout the year, Abbott's sustainable cogeneration

    process supplies approximately

    85 percent of the total energy demand (steam and electricity) for the

    Urbana campus, which includes almost 50 percent of the overall electricity usage. The electricity not generated at Abbott, from

     on-site solar arrays, or acquired through a wind power purchase

    agreement is purchased through Prairieland Energy, a corporation

    solely owned by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. More

    information about utilities production is available at


     Happy Holidays!

     Steve B.


    Hi, Steve. As I'm assembling this week's column, I have several




     Can you clarify what's meant by "district heating"?


     Does most of the steam generated by the cogeneration process end up

     heating some of the older buildings on campus? (I spent 20+ years in

     Mumford Hall and remember the sounds the pipes made at certain times of year.)


    Any idea of approximately what percentage of the campus' interior spaces are still heated with ssssssteam heat?


    I took a look at the website you mentioned, and have a couple of questions

     about that: What does  UES stand for?   And the website says, "During low

    campus demand for both heat and air conditioning, Abbott typically

     burns natural gas. During the winter months, when the campus heat load

     is highest, a combination of both coal and natural gas is necessary."

    Is that information still accurate? (I thought the coal scrubbers were

    no longer in use on campus...?)



    If it's not possible to get answers to me this week, that's OK; I can hold the item for next week.


    Thank you,



     Hi Kathy,


     I'll follow up on these in greater detail when everyone returns next week.


     UES is the acronym for the Utilities & Energy Services division that is within Facilities & Services. District heating is referencing the process used to distribute steam from Abbott to campus facilities through underground pipes.


    Steve B.




    There were a couple of follow of questions to this media inquiry from the NG before the break.  Can you help clarify the highlighted sections by Wednesday with any additional information? For the interior spaces question, let me know if you can explain that more precisely – on our website we say “More than 250 campus buildings use the steam produced at Abbott for their heating.” The UMP also indicates: From discussions with U of I staff, approximately 85% of the campus condensate is returned to APP (if that would be something to note from a process standpoint along with an explanation like below).


    Abbott uses gas turbines, natural gas-fired boilers, and coal fired boilers, recovering reject heat from electric generation to help produce steam. The plant pipes steam underground across campus to provide buildings with space heating, domestic hot water, sterilization, and more. Once used, the steam condenses into water and returns to the plant where it is recycled and reused.



    I could respond to the fuel item with what we have said previously…


    When the campus load for heat is highest during the winter months, natural gas and coal are utilized to meet the significant energy demand. The coal-fired

    boilers are also a part of research efforts, primarily related to carbon capture technology. Additionally, maintaining fuel flexibility provides the university operational reliability and the ability to respond to market factors for purchased utilities.


    Thanks for helping out with some more detail on this one.

    Steve B.




    Do you guys or maybe steam distribution know approximately what percentage of campus buildings are still on steam heat?



    David Hardin


    I have not seen a list. We will ask Steam.


    When time allows maybe we could add a column to note the steam yes or no. Hmmmmm Elizabeth stated Keith Erickson had a list and she recalls some sort of building database that listed utilities per building such as steam,  electricity from Abbot or Ameren, gas etc. It would be nice to find this.






    Are you guys aware of the list/database Dave referenced below and if so where it is located?






    I would think that EBS would provide a list of building that are served with steam, based on the meters in EBS.


    Tony and/or Kate,


    Can you clarify/confirm how many buildings on campus are served with steam from EBS?  The email string below indicates that the Util. Master Plant said over 250 buildings are served by steam from Abbott. Is that still the case?


    Mike Larson


    According to EBS, there are 175 active steam meters. Some buildings have multiple meters so there would be fewer buildings than that.




    Kate Brewster


    Anthony should be able to run a query that will give us an exact number from our last billing cycle.






    As of our last EBS billing the count is 147.  I have attached the file that supports this number for your reference.






  3. CNGES - DOE Long Duration Energy Storage Demos - Request for Pressure Corp visit to Abbott.

    Below is an email from Sebestiano Geirdinella:

    Hi Rob, Mike, Morgan,


    I know that winter has just arrived so you must be having your hands full, but I wanted to contact you as there is now a DOE call for proposals for Long Duration Energy Storage Demos.


    The Demo favors teams composed of industry / commercial partners with academic institutions. Pressure Corp has manifested their continued willingness to serve as commercial / industrial partner.


    If our proposal is successful, it would allow us to consider other aspects to the project that would otherwise be too expensive to include into commercial contract without partial federal funding, such as: a) waste heat recovery from Abbott Power Plant, b) an alternate arrangement that includes providing cooling using the expander colder gas exhaust during summer, and c) including the expander at Curtis Road pressure regulation station (it could cover the roughly 3000 ft of electrical interconnection).


    As part of the proposal preparation process, we feel it might have value to organize a visit to Abbott Power Plant with Pressure Corp, with the purpose of discussing technical, contractual and sustainability aspects relevant to the Compressed Natural Gas Energy Storage demonstration project:


    1. Technical aspects:
      1. Visit the locations
      2. Look for potential tie-ins for waste heat (example: boiler blowdown, steam traps, or flue gas connections that would not be used after the capture pilot projects have been closed).
      3. Look for potential uses for cooling (example: electrical or control rooms, heat rejection from rotating equipment, etc.)


    1. Contractual aspects:
      1. Discuss potential PPA general terms (for the Demos FOA, this would be of great help to assess economics and justify commercial potential; ideally this meeting could be with PEI).


    1. Sustainability aspects:
      1. Talk about how project integrates into iCAP (Pressure Corp wanted also to ask about potential benefits that the project may have on UIUC’s STARS rating).


    It would be ideal to schedule the visit within the next couple of weeks, since we need to submit a Letter of Intent for DOE by the second week of December, but we are subject to your availability.


    Please let us know if you have preferred dates.


    Thanks and regards,



  4. eweek announcement

    FGI Webinar: US EPA Reconsideration of Coal Combustion Residual Regulation

    This webinar will discuss a series of proposed & finalized amendments to rules promulgated by the US EPA to the Coal Combustion Residuals Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Rule.  This presentation will summarize the analysis from EPA’s Composite Model for Leachate Migration with Transformation Products and contextualize that output with the USWAG Decision and the 2020 Rulemaking efforts.

    October 8, 11 am–12 pm • Map

    Jen Miller • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  5. 14 Weeks Without Coal Burning

    Beginning on June 1, 2012 the University quit burning coal as the campus energy needs declined with the beginning of summer. The University had gone without coal for 20 weeks in the summer of 2011. Abbott Power Plant began burning coal again on September 5, 2012 after 14 weeks without burning.

  6. Beyond Coal student group joint celebration at Abbott Power Plant

    F&S and the Beyond Coal student group portion of Students for Environmental ConcernS (SECS) held a joint celebration at Abbott Power Plant to recognize the efforts that have been made to reduce coal usage for campus.  There was a discussion about the additional projects F&S is pursuing and the financial decision makers for campus.

  7. The F&S Energy and Production Distribution Master Plan Kicked Off

    The F&S Energy and Production Distribution Master Plan was kicked off in January.  This plan is the first step to achieving the goal of not burning coal at Abbott Power Plant by 2017. The plan will be developed over the course of calendar year 2012 and will include specific projects and cost estimates for implementing the plan in five-year increments.