From The Billings Gazette: The University of Montana is halting plans to build a woody biomass heating plant on campus. University President Royce Engstrom cited financial viability, fuel supply, increased pollution and the deteriorating discourse surrounding the $16 million heating project as reasons for scrapping the project. The announcement marked an end to the university’s yearlong effort to reduce its carbon footprint by switching from natural gas, a fossil fuel, to woody biomass, a renewable resource.JUNE 2011...from The Missoulian: The Missoula, Mont., City-County Health Department has made a preliminary determination to grant the University of Montana an air-quality permit to build a $16 million biomass gasification boiler on campus. It's a major step for the university as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by replacing 70 percent of its natural gas consumption, which is now used to heat campus, with wood, a renewable resource.
EARLIER...OCTOBER 2010...From The Billings Gazette: The University of Montana wants to produce its own energy in the future by building a $16 million wood-fired biomass boiler to complement its existing heating plant. The boiler would reduce the campus' natural gas consumption by 70 percent. The university has received a $180,000 grant for the boiler from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service.