Berea’s Central Plant, which replaced its old coal-fired heat plant in 2006, eliminated the annual use of about 4,000 pounds of coal. The Central Plant burns natural gas, with fuel oil as a back-up, and uses special insulated pipe that has helped reduce the energy loss in transfer from about 30% to less than 5%. The new system also reduced Berea’s gas use by 39% in the first year alone.
The Central Plant has significantly reduced the amount of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions compared to the coal-fired heat plant. The Central Plant was also built to accommodate the possibility of future retrofitting it for co-generation of electricity by capturing the surplus heat.