Enough power for a mini-city is distributed on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow to as many as 143 buildings and numerous miles of streets, acres of parking lots, construction sites and other infrastructure. Utilities such as heat, electricity, light, and air-conditioning/water cooling are supplied in part through purchased electricity and natural gas, and via university-owned-and-operated production and distribution systems.
The University of Idaho accesses electricity from Avista via two metered feeds at the edge of campus, which then is distributed to each campus site through a university owned distribution system. This allows the University to purchase electricity at a cheaper rate than Avista’s residential or small commercial customers.
Natural gas for the University’s Power Plant is purchased directly from a deregulated energy broker, IGI Resources, Inc.. Natural gas is also purchased from Avista Utilities, a regulated local utility company, for buildings not served by the central steam system.
Wood chips, purchased regional timber mills, are the primary fuel used for the University’s steam production. The Power Plant generates steam by burning the abundant wood fuel, using natural gas as a backup. The steam is transported through utility tunnels to buildings in the core of campus where it is used primarily for space heating and domestic hot water.