Goodbye, Skyline Icon: The Y Smokestack Is No More
Check out the latest podcast episode Listen
At the Y

Goodbye, Skyline Icon

BYU smokestack
A familiar campus feature gave way to the future as BYU began the process of replacing its coal-burning heating plant with a new green facility. Photo by Nate Edwards.

The smokestack south of the Wilk is gone. Since 1958 the Y-branded white-brick structure was a familiar feature of the campus skyline, the most visible part of a system that heated and cooled campus buildings.

In November 2016 workers began the process of removing the 150-foot-tall chimney, the coal-powered boilers, and other related structures and equipment from the Central Heating Plant.

BYU is building a new, greener cogeneration facility, projected to be in place by summer 2018. “A co-gen facility is considered a green source of power and will reduce our emissions significantly,” says Paul Greenwood, BYU director of engineering and utilities.

The new system will feature three stacks—each roughly half the height of the older stack and smaller in diameter—and will use natural gas to generate both heat and electricity, offsetting 30 to 50 percent of BYU’s electrical needs.