Notre Dame embraces renewable energy, cuts coal-fired plant

The coal plant at Notre Dame. (Photo: WNDU;*388/Notre+Dame+coal+power+plant.jpg)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The University of Notre Dame is shuttering its coal-fired power plant a year ahead of schedule thanks to a sustainable energy plan that’s seen the campus embrace renewable energy.

Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins got behind the wheel of a truck Monday and dumped the final load of coal, which will likely burn through Wednesday.

Jenkins announced in 2015 the school’s target of ending coal use at the plant by the end of 2020 and reducing its carbon footprint by at least half by 2030.

Currently, Notre Dame has cut its carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels.

The plant will be replaced by two 5.5-megawatt natural gas turbines, which Notre Dame started using earlier this year.

Jenkins says it is important to nurture the environment for future generations.