University Power Plant

University Power Plant


Utilities is responsible for the Power Plant, Chilled Water Plant, Water Plant, Energy Production (co-generation), energy conservation initiatives, energy management tools and monitoring, and renewable energy.


Org Chart
Utilities Staff Listing and Contact Information


The University of Iowa operates and maintains a central Power Plant, three Chilled Water Plants and a Water Plant on the main campus and satellite facilities at the UI Research Park (Oakdale Campus).  The plants provide steam, water, high-quality water, chilled water, electricity and sewer to the entire campus, including The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Co-generation - Combined Heat and Power

The University of Iowa has operated a co-generation plant at its current location since 1926.  Within its combined heat and power production cycle, and use of biomass fuels, the University of Iowa is able to co-generate energy for cost-effective electricity, cooling and water treatment on campus. Combined Heat and Power

Power Plant

UI Power Plant Brochure (pdf)
The UI Power Plant contains the following equipment:

  • 2 natural gas boilers and two solid fuel boilers
  • 3 turbine electric generators and 4 natural gas engine electric generators

Click for full-size image: Distribution graphic for main campus (.jpg)

Distribution graphic


Electric generation currently supplies between a quarter and a third of electric demand on campus.

UI Greenhouse Gas Inventory
GHG information reported to the EPA by the UI
University of Iowa statement on coal ash displacement

Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant

The Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant is designed to operate using alternative and renewable energy sources such as biomass, landfill gas, anaerobic digester methane, and gasifier syngas. Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant

Chilled Water

The Chilled Water Utility has 15 chillers and 2 absorption units, exceeding 40,000 tons of cooling capacity for the UI Campus.  Chilled Water

Water Plant

The University of Iowa is one of only a handful of Universities that also operates its own Water Plant.  In addition to providing a cost-effective source of water for the campus, it also serves as an important teaching facility for future engineers and water treatment specialists. The Water Plant uses 3,800 MMBtu of steam and 2,200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity to purify and distribute 900 million gallons of water annually. Water Plant

Distribution Systems

Mechanical Distribution maintains all of the University's steam, chilled water and domestic water piping. In addition to these systems. Electrical Distribution maintains most of the high voltage equipment on campus. Distribution Systems

Utility Enterprise

The Utility Enterprise is a recharge cost center that sells energy and services to the campus to fund its zero-profit budget.  In addition to the steam, electricity and water produced by the above facilities, the Utility Enterprise also distributes 285,000,000 kilowatt-hours of purchased electricity and sends 534,000 ccf of wastewater to the City of Iowa City.

Utility customers for the main campus include General Fund buildings, Residence Services, Athletics, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, paying according to usage.