North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) will soon begin demolishing a coal boiler structure that was taken out of service earlier this year on its Wahpeton campus after a small explosion and fire rendered it unusable. The 40-year-old coal boiler will be permanently retired and campus energy needs will be met by the three remaining natural gas boilers.
Installed in the mid-1970s, the coal boiler has had minimal use over the past five years and was fired up during the coldest winter months for only 60-70 days annually. Its size is massive, similar to coal boilers on the campuses of the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University, and required retrofitting for the College to use efficiently.
Demolition of the structure will begin in early 2017 and while the majority of the boiler is housed inside the Central Heating Plant, located east of 7th Street; the most noticeable remnant to be removed will be the large, 120-ft. tall steel chimney. Following demolition, the space formerly occupied by the coal boiler will be repurposed for a yet-to-be-determined campus need.
Energy conservation measures on the Wahpeton Campus have been a priority in recent years and those efforts, including the $8.4 million renovation of Old Main and the installation of energy efficient windows in several residence halls and buildings, have reduced energy demands.
“The three natural gas boilers have more than enough capacity to heat the Campus,” said Dallas Fossum, Executive Director of Facilities Management and the campus lead who will oversee coal boiler demolition.