ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The University of New Mexico is going into the red to stay green.
UNM is taking out an $11 million loan on a giant gas turbine to supply energy for the school.
The university says this new machine will help fill a third of the electricity needs on campus.
UNM's nonprofit arm took out a bank loan to finance it, but they say it will be paid off with the energy savings.
"We know exactly what it costs to run the university - to buy power, to buy natural gas and to maintain this facility," says UNM engineer Hans Barsun. "By installing this turbine ... we can save enough every year to be able to pay the $11 million back over 10 years."
Barsun says the natural gas turbine is green because it produces less soot and fewer carbon emissions than other forms of energy.
This is UNM's second gas turbine purchase. The latest acquisition doubles their power producing capacity, so only a third of their electricity needs will need to come from PNM.
Each turbine produces 52-million kWh a year. Barsun says the total cost to produce that is about $1 million a year which is cheaper than buying that same amount of power from PNM.
Barsun says it's a double dose of clean power; the gas turbine makes sure electricity and the heat that's created in the process isn't wasted. It's turned into steam that's used to heat or cool the campus.
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