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University of Wisconsin–Madison
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The Wisconsin Idea in Action

Charter Street Heating Plant Conversion

In 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle proposed that the Charter Street Heating Plant in Madison switch from burning coal to burning a mixture of biomass, such as wood waste and agricultural residues, and natural gas. The proposal stems from the Governor's commitment to stop burning coal at state-owned heating plants after the Sierra Club sued UW-Madison for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act. The $250 million retrofit project will transform campus energy production and distribution by using a combination of biomass and natural gas to power the plant, which heats and cools some 300 buildings in the area. To accomplish this project, the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative has joined stakeholders from UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Administration, and the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence to participate in a collaborative biomass work group. The group will work to determine potential biomass sites and sources as well as review plans to ensure the safety and efficiency of the conversion.

Outcomes

This project intends to replace the existing coal boilers at the Charter Street Heating Plant with natural gas and biomass fuel. A new 350,000 lb/hr boiler capable of burning 100 percent biomass will be installed as well as two new gas fired boilers to replace the coal burning units. The fuel handling system will also be re-configured to handle biomass fuels, which the project expects to eventually reach approximately 250,000 tons/year. The plant will be upgraded in phases with the system targeted to accept biomass fuels by late 2013.

Focus Areas

Project Leader

Troy Runge
Director, Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative

School or College
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Counties 1 total

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Map of Wisconsin Highlighting Dane Counties. Copyright © 2015 Highsoft AS, Based on data from The United States Census Bureau Map of Wisconsin Highlighting Dane Counties. Copyright © 2015 Highsoft AS, Based on data from The United States Census Bureau United States of America 2 U.S.A. Northern America North America USA US 23424977 North America us US 0 US.WI WI|Wis. 2347608 East North Central US55 WI Wisconsin United States of America State Midwest -89.5831 Wisconsin 44.3709 Wisconsin, US, United States State us-wi WI 55111 Sauk 0.50 0.41 us-wi-111 SA 55049 Iowa 0.50 0.50 us-wi-049 IO 55003 Ashland 0.31 0.67 us-wi-003 AS 55007 Bayfield 0.41 0.57 us-wi-007 BA 55113 Sawyer 0.43 0.50 us-wi-113 SA 55021 Columbia 0.62 0.50 us-wi-021 CO 55001 Adams 0.50 0.43 us-wi-001 AD 55085 Oneida 0.50 0.40 us-wi-085 ON 55099 Price 0.50 0.50 us-wi-099 PR 55017 Chippewa 0.58 0.50 us-wi-017 CH 55019 Clark 0.50 0.50 us-wi-019 CL 55087 Outagamie 0.50 0.50 us-wi-087 OU 55115 Shawano 0.31 0.50 us-wi-115 SH 55069 Lincoln 0.50 0.50 us-wi-069 LI 55055 Jefferson 0.50 0.50 us-wi-055 JE 55027 Dodge 0.50 0.50 us-wi-027 DO 55125 Vilas 0.49 0.52 us-wi-125 VI 55041 Forest 0.50 0.69 us-wi-041 FO 55047 Green Lake 0.49 0.50 us-wi-047 GL 55137 Waushara 0.50 0.50 us-wi-137 WA 55045 Green 0.50 0.50 us-wi-045 GR 55105 Rock 0.50 0.51 us-wi-105 RO 55127 Walworth 0.50 0.50 us-wi-127 WA 55005 Barron 0.50 0.50 us-wi-005 BA 55093 Pierce 0.58 0.50 us-wi-093 PI 55033 Dunn 0.49 0.50 us-wi-033 DU 55107 Rusk 0.43 0.50 us-wi-107 RU 55119 Taylor 0.50 0.50 us-wi-119 TA 55101 Racine 0.50 0.31 us-wi-101 RA 55053 Jackson 0.50 0.59 us-wi-053 JA 55035 Eau Claire 0.50 0.50 us-wi-035 EC 55083 Oconto 0.33 0.37 us-wi-083 OC 55009 Brown 0.43 0.52 us-wi-009 BR 55079 Milwaukee 0.50 0.74 us-wi-079 MI 55089 Ozaukee 0.49 0.38 us-wi-089 OZ 55103 Richland 0.50 0.50 us-wi-103 RI 55023 Crawford 0.53 0.41 us-wi-023 CR 55133 Waukesha 0.50 0.50 us-wi-133 WA 55057 Juneau 0.39 0.71 us-wi-057 JU 55123 Vernon 0.43 0.50 us-wi-123 VE 55025 Dane 0.50 0.50 us-wi-025 DA 55051 Iron 0.48 0.52 us-wi-051 IR 55135 Waupaca 0.40 0.50 us-wi-135 WA 55139 Winnebago 0.50 0.50 us-wi-139 WI 55061 Kewaunee 0.35 0.50 us-wi-061 KE 55097 Portage 0.59 0.50 us-wi-097 PO 55015 Calumet 0.50 0.50 us-wi-015 CA 55063 La Crosse 0.62 0.50 us-wi-063 LC 55073 Marathon 0.50 0.50 us-wi-073 MA 55013 Burnett 0.57 0.58 us-wi-013 BU 55121 Trempealeau 0.55 0.50 us-wi-121 TR 55129 Washburn 0.50 0.50 us-wi-129 WA 55091 Pepin 0.18 0.76 us-wi-091 PE 55141 Wood 0.50 0.50 us-wi-141 WO 55043 Grant 0.66 0.47 us-wi-043 GR 55065 Lafayette 0.50 0.50 us-wi-065 LA 55117 Sheboygan 0.50 0.50 us-wi-117 SH 55077 Marquette 0.50 0.50 us-wi-077 MA 55067 Langlade 0.35 0.40 us-wi-067 LA 55078 Menominee 0.50 0.50 us-wi-078 ME 55131 Washington 0.50 0.50 us-wi-131 WA 55109 St. Croix 0.50 0.50 us-wi-109 SC 55037 Florence 0.50 0.50 us-wi-037 FL 55039 Fond du Lac 0.50 0.51 us-wi-039 FD 55081 Monroe 0.50 0.50 us-wi-081 MO 55011 Buffalo 0.60 0.35 us-wi-011 BU 55029 Door 0.56 0.57 us-wi-029 DO 55095 Polk 0.57 0.50 us-wi-095 PO 55075 Marinette 0.46 0.54 us-wi-075 MA 55031 Douglas 0.50 0.56 us-wi-031 DO 55059 Kenosha 0.50 0.50 us-wi-059 KE 55071 Manitowoc 0.40 0.50 us-wi-071 MA

This project was last updated on Jun 2, 2010. Do you have an update for this project? Find out how to contribute.