Steam Station (Steam Plant) Special Collections Research Center

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aerial view of several buildings with long brick chimneys high above building height

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Alco Steam Plant

Construction Began: 1926

Began Operation: March 1, 1927

Cost: $310,320

Design Engineer: John L. Graham, Reynoldsville, PA

Riley Steam Plant

Construction Began: 1950

Began Operation: December 1952

Cost: $1,800,000

Location: 500 East Taylor Street                   

Space: Riley Steam Plant (1952) houses two Riley watertube boilers; originally coal fired, they were converted to natural gas in the early 1970s. Alco Steam Plant (1927) houses two Babcock and Wilcox watertube boilers.

Notes: In October 1950 the University sought to augment the previous steam plant constructed in 1926. Boiler contracts were awarded in November 1950 with the first boiler operational in fall 1951, producing 300,000 pounds of steam. In 1967 an addition to the Alco Steam Station Plant was created from boilers purchased from the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady. The new plant was designated the "ALCO Plant," its name derived from the acronym of the American Locomotive name. Steam Distribution and Chilled Water Systems provided steam and chilled water to most major academic buildings and residence halls on the Main Campus. In addition, it provided steam to neighboring hospitals and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. From 1992 until October 2009, Project Orange Associates (POA) operated the steam plants for the University. When this agreement ended in 2009, SU assumed operation of the plants and in March 2011 demolished a cogeneration facility that had been built next to the steam plant. Prior to demolition the facility's generators and other equipment were removed for storage. Equipment upgrades in 2012 allowed the Steam Station to operate with increased energy efficiency.