University Power Plant

University Power Plant


Utilities is responsible for the Power Plant, Water Plant, Chilled Water Plants, Energy Production (co-generation), the Energy Control Center, Utility Distribution Systems, and Renewable Energy. Utilities also provides Environmental Compliance services for the university.


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

Energy Control Center

The Energy Control Center is the information hub for utilities operating information, including plant operational data, building energy consumption as measured by Utilities metering, and outside data such as weather and fuel markets information. Energy Control Center

Distribution Systems

Mechanical Distribution maintains all of the university's steam, chilled water, domestic water sotrm sewer and sanitary sewer piping. In addition to these systems, Electrical Distribution maintains the high voltage substations and distribution lines on campus, providing power to the buildings. Meters and Controls assembles, operates, and maintains the Utilities Network for secure control and communications, and installs, calibrates, and reads utility meters for billing. Distribution Systems

Environmental Compliance Services

Environmental compliance services are provided in areas such as Air Quality, Spill Prevention, Water Quality, Underground Storage Tanks, Refrigerant Management, Stormwater Management, and Flood-Plain coordination. Environmental Compliance

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.