In 2008, University of Iowa avoided emitting 69, 000 metric tons of CO2 by using one system to generate both heat and energy for the campus.
A member of the EPA’s Combined Heat and Power partnership, UI burns coal, natural gas and oat hulls at its power plant to generate about 30 percent of the electricity needed – and all of the steam energy needed – for its main campus, university hospitals and clinics complex.
According to a university video, burning oat hulls – instead of just coal – saves about $1 million per year. It gets the oat hulls from a Quaker Oats facility, which is just a short distance away.
By 2010, the university plans to reduce its energy consumption by 10 percent and use renewable sources to generate 15 percent of all energy on campus.