Morris is one of the first public colleges to generate on-site renewable power from local resources, such as corn stover. At the south edge of campus, a biomass gasification plant—fueled by crop residues from nearby farms—generates steam.
The biomass gasifier is part of an integrated system for heating and cooling campus buildings. The combined heat and power system includes a steam turbine, which generates renewable electricity from gasifier steam, and a steam—powered absorption chiller.
At the campus’s Regional Fitness Center, locally manufactured solar thermal panels collect the sun’s energy to heat swimming pool water. A solar photovoltaic system on the south side of the science building converts sunlight into electricity. On the glacial ridge overlooking the campus, two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines generate renewable electricity for the campus and the region.
Shifting to renewable power is just one piece of the campus’s comprehensive sustainability strategy. Other measures include historic building reuse, green building design and construction, conservation, local foods programs, hybrid vehicles, innovative curriculum, and community outreach. The Morris campus is a nationally recognized sustainability leader and serves as a model community.