MUNCIE, Ind. — Workers have begun demolishing twin smokestacks at Ball State University that are the last vestiges of the campus’ one-time reliance on coal power.
The smokestacks were rendered obsolete by the university’s $83 million installation of a closed-loop geothermal energy system.
Workers from a St. Louis company began dismantling the twin smokestacks last week. School officials say the 180-foot-tall and 125-foot-tall brick smokestacks should be gone by Aug. 26.
Ball State drilled about 3,600 boreholes for a geothermal system that uses buried pipes to tap the Earth’s natural heat storage capacity to both heat and cool.
The school shut down its four aging coal-fired boilers in 2014, but the Muncie campus continues to use natural gas-fired boilers to produce steam for heating and hot water.