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Michigan State University commits to green energy (but not enough for some)

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
Not going anywhere soon. MSU's T.B. Simon power plant will continue to provide electricity for the East Lansing campus for years to come

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has approved a plan that will increase the East Lansing campus’ reliance on renewable energy sources.

The plan approved this morning will require MSU to get 40 percent of its electricity from wind, solar and other alternative energy sources by 2030. Renewables account for about two percent of MSU’s power right now.

MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon says this is an important step for the university. “This plan will set standards and govern future energy decisions, similar to how the Campus Master Plan guides the university’s growth,” Simon says in a written statement.”

The plan does not please some Spartan students who wanted the university to commit to 100 percent renewable energy sources. 

“We’re really disappointed that the Board chose to move this so-called plan forward even though it lacks innovation, real clean energy goals or a plan for retiring the dirty coal plant on campus,” says Talya Tavor, with MSU Beyond Coal.  

In a written statement, Tavor says “This could have been an opportunity for MSU to be a national clean energy leader, but instead the transition plan simply puts off any real investments or dedication to clean energy to an unknown future date with no accountability.”

The T.B. Simon Power Plant is one of the largest coal fired plants located on a college campus in the United States.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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