Iowa State received a certificate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Combined Heat and Power Partnership that recognizes the university for efficient energy production.
Members of the partnership, including Iowa State, are organizations committed to improving the efficiency of the U.S. energy infrastructure and reducing the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Since 1891, the university's power plant has used a combined heat and power process -- called cogeneration -- to serve the campus energy demands. In calendar year 2011, this efficiency resulted in 24,000 metric tons of avoided carbon equivalent emissions as compared to conventional energy suppliers. This is approximately equal to the amount of annual emissions from the electricity used by 11,178 homes.
The 2011 data brings to 892,000 metric tons the estimated total avoided emissions from the plant over 120-plus years.
Cogeneration at Iowa State
Steam (generated by burning coal and other fuels) that already has been used to spin turbines to produce electricity is extracted from the turbine generators and used to heat buildings and to generate chilled water to cool buildings.