Utilities has two plants on campus that serve all of UC's buildings and six hospitals. The plants burn a variety of fuels to ensure our reliability and cost efectiveness. The plants are connected via underground piping and tunnels and contain the equipment listed below.
Central Utility Plant
With its two Solar Titan combustion turbines, a Dresser-Rand steam turbine, five York chillers, two Trane chillers, two ERI heat recovery steam generators and two Nebraska boilers, the Central Utility Plant is ready to power all of this and more.
East Utility Plant
The East Campus utility plant houses two (2) package boilers, and 15,000 tons of chillers including two (2) gas fired chillers, and a 3,000,000 gallons chilled water storage system.
Service is at the heart of the university's mission - service to students, to faculty and researchers, to the larger community. Part of that service is to provide quality learning, working and living environments. It means that the university must be able to deliver reliable utilities every day, all day. The university seeks to continue its 99.98% energy reliability rating as in the past.
| 610,000 pounds-per-hour capacity
Coal, gas, oil, interruptible gas
Chilled Water Production
| 34,000 capacity
Natural gas and electric chillers
Thermal Energy Storage
|6.8 million gallons of chilled water|
Onsite Generated Electricity, Steam & Chilled Water
Power generation and distribution are the most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensive activities on UC’s campuses and this GHG emission source has the most opportunities for change. Historically, UC has supplied its energy needs through a large proportion of purchased electricity and a smaller proportion of locally produced heat and chilled water from coal, natural gas and distillate fuel oil. This supply is supplemented with electricity purchased from the grid. Until the early 1990’s, this on-campus power production was handled by power plants located on the Uptown East Campus and on the Uptown West Campus. In 2004, this changed with the design and expansion of a new state of the art Central Utility Plant located between the East and West Campuses and the demolition of the Uptown West Campus plant.
The Central Utility Plant is a cogeneration plant that runs principally on natural gas and supplies electricity, steam and chilled water. The benefit of combined heat and power systems is much more clean and efficient power than power from large utilities. The overall efficiency for UC cogeneration system is between 70% and 85% (Source: Department of Facilities and Utilities, 2009) where as traditional power plants run by utilities are between 30 and 40% efficient on average. The cogeneration plant has less waste; therefore, it uses less fuel and consequently produces fewer GHG emissions then the power purchased from Duke Energy.