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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 28, 2009

EPA notes UI's carbon emission reduction for 2008

By using one system to generate both heat and energy for the campus, the University of Iowa power plant kept 0.069 million metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere in 2008, equivalent to the amount stored by 11,232 acres of pine forests for one year or the emissions from 8,046 passenger vehicles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted the achievement in its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership Greenhouse Gas Reduction Report, issued Jan. 14. The UI, a member of the partnership, burns coal, natural gas and oat hulls at its power plant to generate about 30 percent of the total electric power --and all of the steam energy -- required by the main campus and UI Hospitals and Clinics complex.

CHP, also known as co-generation, is an efficient, clean, and reliable approach to generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, rather than from separate heat and power systems. Because of its efficiency, it reduces traditional air pollutants and carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas associated with climate change.

"The University of Iowa takes seriously its role as steward of the energy it uses and produces," said Liz Christiansen, director of the UI Office of Sustainability. "And we're proud of the fact that this campus has taken concrete steps toward conserving energy and, wherever possible, using renewable fuel sources like oat hulls. Going forward we will continue to be proactive in finding better and more efficient ways to heat and power the campus."

The UI is using several measures to meet goals set forth in its UI Energy Conservation and Management Strategic Plan. By 2010, for instance, the UI seeks to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent and use renewable sources to generate 15 percent of all energy on campus.

More information about the UI's CHP System and the UI Energy Plan is available at

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