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Clemson University trustees accept recommendation for new plant location

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Clemson University trustees approved a recommendation to locate a new heat and power unit to a location west of Highway 76 near the university campus.

The unit is expected to be operational in 2019 and will generate nearly 16 megawatts of electrical power. According to the university, the new unit will “help meet the future power needs of the university and the surrounding area.”

University officials are conducting a site review for the unit following concerns expressed for its original intended location near the Clemson Armory on the east side of the campus.

“Construction of this highly efficient facility is vital to meeting the long-term power needs of the university in a way that also allows Clemson to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Brett Dalton, executive vice president for finance and operation at Clemson, in a news release. “At the same time, the university is committed to working with its partner Duke Energy to locate and build the facility in a manner that takes into account the impact on local residents, as well as the needs of the university.”

The new unit will also have the capacity to take waste heat from electricity production and produce thermal energy that Duke will, in turn, sell back to the university to be used to heat buildings and water on campus, according to the release.

With a price tag of nearly $51 million, the facility “is expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the area by 60,000 metric tons a year, or the equivalent of removing 12,700 passenger vehicles from the road each year.”

Additionally, trustees approved three new degrees — a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) focused on practicing educators seeking additional credentials; a Ph.D. and masters of science in resilient infrastructure and environmental systems engineering and science.

Trustees also approved moving its master of education degree in literacy from a hybrid to an online degree and the closing of the baccalaureate certificate program in American Sign Language for health care practitioners. 

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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