The SIU Power Plant produces steam which is used to heat campus buildings, produce chilled water for cooling, and to generate electricity. Steam and chilled water are distributed through four miles of underground tunnels to over 50 buildings across campus. The plant consumes nearly 50,000 tons of coal per year.
A 3-megawatt generator produces about 14% of the annual electricity supply for central campus, which amounts to over 100 million kWh with a peak load of 18 megawatts. The photovoltaic power system helps offset purchased electricity with clean, renewable energy and has peak output of 28 kilowatts.
In FY 2006, SIU purchased $6.5 million in electricity. As part of a continuing effort in energy conservation, PSO has replaced over 6,500 incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, lamped nearly 1,000 exit signs with efficient and long-lasting LEDs, and converted all of the T12 fluorescent lighting in 82 buildings across campus to new high-efficiency T8 technology.