For Colleges, Cheap Natural Gas Proves More Popular Than Coal

Cheap Natural Gas Makes Dumping Coal an Easy Decision for Many Colleges 1

Cornell U.

Cornell U.'s Combined Heat & Power Plant, which went into operation in 2009, uses natural gas to produce electricity along with steam heat for campus buildings. It chills water, too.

Any college utility manager who tried a decade ago to anticipate which energy source would succeed coal probably would not have picked natural gas. Its price was volatile, and domestic production was thought to be in such terminal decline that utilities had begun importing liquefied natural gas from abroad.

Today, however, most analysts agree that America's shale-gas boom has positioned natural gas to dominate the energy playing field for years to come. Colleges and hospitals in