UI says they will stop using coal for energy by 2025

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The University of Iowa has set a goal of no longer burning coal by the year 2025.

The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015.

Coal provides part of the power for campus right now. But the university would like to switch to more renewable sources like oat hulls from Quaker Oats, wood chips and miscanthus grass. Since 2008, the university has already reduced the use of coal by 60 percent.

"We're very confident in our ability to replace coal step by step, conservatively, and make sure that we insure that reliability in the plant" said Erin Hazen, the Renewable Energy Business Development Director at the University of Iowa.

The money the university was spending on coal will now go to Iowa farmers who lease their land to grow the miscanthus grass. Hazen says there are already a lot of farmers interested. So she doesn't think it will be a problem having enough of the grass to help replace coal.