MARQUETTE - Work on Northern Michigan University's new cogeneration combined heat and power plant, located on Wright Street, is continuing on schedule.
Crews are currently working on assembling the major parts of the plant, with actual construction of the building set to take place at a later date.
"That was the plan all along, to erect the major components and then construct the building around those," said Gisele Duehring, associate director for facilities and the heating plant at NMU. "Currently, we have the furnace and some of the ash-gathering device (completed)."
Workers continue construction on Northern Michigan University’s new power plant on Wright Street. The plant will use wood chips and wood byproducts from the Upper Peninsula such as tree tops, sawdust and bark for fuel. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Duehring said the boiler is expected to arrive in August, with a test date for the plant tentatively set for February.
The new plant will use wood chips and other wood byproducts from the Upper Peninsula for fuel.
According to the university, the plant will be capable of meeting 87 percent of thermal and 16 percent of electrical needs on campus and will work in conjunction with the Ripley Heating Plant, which runs on natural gas.
"That way, we have fuel flexibility," Duehring said of the duel use of the plants. "If wood's the better price, that's what we burn and if gas is the better price, we'll switch to that."
Duehring said a number of different contractors have worked or will work on the project. Currently on site are Gundlach Champion, Inc.; CR Meyer; S & T Electrical International; Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc.; John E. Green Company; and Dressler Mechanical, Inc.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.