Notre Dame set to shut down campus coal plant next year

The University of Notre Dame says its plan to stop burning coal on campus is at least a year ahead of schedule.

The school’s dwindling coal stockpile is now projected to be gone by mid-2019, more than 12 months ahead of the university’s target date.

University utilities director Paul Kempf tells the South Bend Tribune that the school is using up the last of its coal inventory. Notre Dame is replacing its coal-fired plant with two natural gas turbines. It also plans new hydroelectric and thermal energy plants, solar arrays and a new campus geothermal system.

Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins announced in 2015 a target of cutting the school’s carbon use by at least half by 2030.

Kempf says carbon use has already declined by 32 percent.