The University of Iowa

Sustainable Energy Discovery District

The University of Iowa officially transferred management of its utility system to ENGIE North America on March 11, 2020. The 50-year partnership with ENGIE and Meridiam will help fund and support the University's strategic plan and core missions of teaching, research, and scholarship. More information is available here. Updates to staff directories and web pages are underway.

About Us

Facilities Management is committed to a number of sustainable practices and programs and plays an integral role in helping the University of Iowa meet its obligations to providing a greener campus. The Sustainable Energy Discovery District explores how different alternative energies can be utilized at the University of Iowa. 

Several of these projects are the outcome of collaborative efforts between UI Facilities Management and its partners such as the UI College of Engineering and UI Parking & Transportation.


The Sustainable Energy Discovery District (SEDD) includes:

  • The solar electric vehicle charging station provides charging spaces for approximately 20 electric vehicles. 
  • The power generated by the station, over 70 megawatt hours annually, is distributed to the UI grid and offsets what is taken from the grid to power the vehicles. This provides a projected reduction in gasoline use by 15,686 gallons.
  • One stall in the solar charging station is equipped for solar energy-related learning and research, such as solar and utility grid integration, power storage, and smart grid technologies.
  • Located on the roof of the Cambus Maintenance Facility Addition.
  • 38kW photovoltaic system.
  • Power generated is sent to the campus utility grid.
  • Used by the UI flex fuel vehicle fleet.
  • Cambus uses a seasonal biodiesel blend to power its fleet.
  • 2.4kW wind turbine, 37-feet pole tower.
  • Connected to the UI utility grid.
  • Serves as a teaching tool for the UI College of Engineering
  • Envisioning a 100% renewable energy future for the UI main campus future.
  • Expanding use of biomass fuels including oat hulls, wood chips, Miscanthus grass, energy pellets, and other potential local fuel sources.
  • Exploring the use of alternative energy sources on campus that include solar, wind, landfill gas and hydroelectric.

Learn more about the University of Iowa's innovative biomass program on the Renewable Energy page.

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  • Streamlines energy usage and production management across campus (17 million square feet), has the potential to save millions of dollars and reduce the UI’s carbon footprint. Saves $500,000 annually.
  • Enables energy engineers to optimize the production and distribution of steam, electricity, and chilled water while reducing costs and energy use.
  • Saves time in the analysis and troubleshooting of utility systems and allows staff to detect and fix problems before customer is even aware of it.
  • Web-based “dashboards” of real-time energy consumption will help building occupants reach target goals for energy reduction and provide immediate feedback on their efforts.
  • Uses historical data and weather forecast information to predict the building-by-building campus steam, electric and chilled water loads for the campus 24 hours in-advance, thereby improving occupant comfort

To see energy dashboards and learn more about the Energy Control Center, visit our Energy Control Center page.

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