The Robert M. Beam Power Plant’s two 4 mega-watt gas turbines provide energy to the east and west campuses of Western Michigan University, as well as the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. In the 1990s, the power plant underwent major renovations to switch from coal to natural gas, making it both energy-efficient and cost-effective—saving thousands of dollars each year.
Power plant fast facts:
- WMU purchased the plant from the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital in 1994.
- Named after Robert M. Beam, former Vice President for Business and Finance Emeritus at WMU, in 2007. Beam played an important role in WMU’s support of many energy conservation projects around campus, including the power plant itself.
- The plant is run by only 19 people. How do they do it?
- The power plant uses natural gas exclusively, and has not fired coal in the 21st century.
Directions to Beam Power Plant
The plant is on the southwest side of Stadium Drive. Turn east into an unmarked drive that is located just before the railroad tracks cross Stadium Drive.