University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Campus task force says plant at odds with UD values

Bringing a gas-fired power plant to the University of Delaware would nullify university pledges to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a campus task force on environmental concerns. The executive council of UD's Sustainability Taskforce this month sent an open letter to University President Patrick Harker, asking him to "more rigorously consider" the university's stated commitments to sustainability as it explores a proposed 279-megawatt plant as part of data center complex on its STAR campus in Newark.

The council has difficulty seeing how the facility – projected to emit up to 900,000 tons of carbon a year – is compatible with values the university has touted through various green initiatives, including its own Climate Action Plan.

"We've put our concerns out there, and I really hope they're taken seriously," said Thomas Schumacher, assistant professor of structural engineering and co-chair of the all-volunteer task force.

"Our mission is to educate not only students but everybody about sustainability issues. We feel there's quite a bit at stake."