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A large campus like UW Oshkosh uses a lot of energy for electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation. We are committed to energy management to ultimately reduce energy consumption, save money, reduce green house gas emissions, and reduce reliance on foreign energy. Energy conservation is our first commitment, because it reduces the amount of energy we need to do what we do. In today's economy the cheapest kilowatts and therms are the ones you don't have to use.

Our strategy

  • Perform retrofits and upgrades of building systems to improve energy efficiency (see infrastructure)
  • Construct and Renovate with energy efficiency in mind
  • Pursue Alternative Energy on campus and REC’s


Click the following links for UWO Energy Saving Initiatives:




Past initiatives

  • Clean Air
    • Construction of a heat plant stack emission control system summer 2004
    • $2,790,000 system filters particulate expelled from two 45,000 lb/hr coal/natural gas fired boilers
    • See Building infrastructures for more information


  • Campus Exterior Lighting Renovation
    • Reuse and refurbishment of existing light poles produced savings of $312,200
    • Fixtures have night sky shields to prevent light pollution



Green Power Purchases

 On May 13, 2003 UWO became the first Wisconsin university to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, a commitment to purchase alternative energy. 

Almost all of our electricity and natural gas comes from Wisconsin Public Service (WPS).

Two of its electrical generating plants are the: 

  • Weston Power Plant (1,100 megawatts located near Wausau)
  • J. P. Pullman Generating Station (375-megawatt plant located near downtown Green Bay at the mouth of the Fox River)


In 2006, UWO increased its annual commitment from 4% to 11% of total power purchased

  • Purchase is equivalent to 288,800 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month for 12 months
  • Today, 16% total power purchased




Performance Contracts

UWO has committed to the statewide program designed to increase energy efficiency and provide other economic and environmental benefits. All work is performed and paid for by contactor and payments are made through energy savings.

UWO Energy and Resource Saving Projects:

  • Lighting Retrofits/Upgrades
    • T-8’s & Electronic Ballasts (2001)
    • Field House sporting upgrades (2006)
    • Student Union upgrades (2006)
    • Classroom/conference room motion sensors (2001)
    • LED Lighting (2010-11)
    • Pool light (2010-11)
  • Water Conservation: (See Water)
  • DDC Conversions
    • AHU’s scheduled for occupancy (2001) 
  • Control Modifications
    • Pumps and Converters (2001)
    • Metasys Trunk (2006)
    • Condenser water reset control  (2006)
  • Water-Cooled Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Retrofit (2006)
  • Steam Trap Efficiency
    • Repair/Replacement (2001)
  • Campus Metering
    • Separate meters for all buildings (2006)
  • HVAC System Upgrades/Re-commissioning
    • Supply fan speed reduction (2010-11)
    • Constant volume to VAV retrofit (2010-11)
  • Bas Upgrades
    • Pneumatic to DDC (2010-11)
  • Renewable Energy
    • Solar hot water (2010-11)
    • Solar Photo Voltaics (2010-11)



 Heat Energy

Comes from our central heating plant located on the north end of campus

  • Two 45,000 lb/hr coal boilers
  • One 100,000 lb/hr natural gas boiler
  • One 25,000 lb/hr  boiler



Renewable Energy

Wind Power

  • Largest source of renewable energy at UWO
  • Wind is majority of power purchases

Solar Power

UW Oshkosh has also been installing solar energy technologies on the campus.  In 2010, UW Oshkosh installed the first photovoltaic panels to generate electricity on campus. Learn how many watts per hour the panels are currently generating.  To date, we have solar installations on the following buildings:

  • Albee Hall
    • Heat an indoor swimming pool
    • Type: Solar thermal
  • Blackhawk Commons
    • Dishwashing
    • Type: Solar thermal
  • Sage Hall
    • Heat and electricity
    • Type: Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Student Success Center
    • Electricity
    • Type: Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Taylor Residence Hall
    • Hot water
    • Type: Solar thermal
  • Heating Plant
    • Pre-heat water for steam production
    • Type: Solar thermal


Types on UWO campus:

Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digester (BD1)

  • First of its kind in the Western Hemisphere
  • 450 kW Unit and can process around 10,000 tons of organic wastes annually
  • Located on campus and converts food, yard and other organic waste into biogas
  • Leftover or thrown out food from Blackhawk Commons is sent here
  • Can generate around 8% of the campus’ electricity
  • Dry biodigesters use little or no water which reduces the need for more resources

First Wet Digester (Titan 55)

  • First wet digester for UWO, traveling from Poland to Allen Farms Inc. in Oshkosh
  • The farm itself has 135 cows and all are involved in the biogas production
  • Smallest biodigesters but is ideal for things like manure, bedding and spillage
  • This 64 kW unit generates electricity from cow manure and other organic farm wastes

Second Wet Digester (BD2)

  • Located on Rosendale Farms, Wisconsin’s biggest dairy farm
  • Current has 8,000 cows that will be used in to digester process
  • Can process 110,000 tons of manure to produce electricity that will be sold to Alliant Energy from a 1.4 megawatt turbine





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