Utilities Public Private Partnership (P3)
Utilities within buildings are generally administered by Facilities and utilities outside of buildings are administered by our Public Private Partnership with Sacyr Plenary Utility Partners Idaho and McKinstry. This partnership includes the operation of the District Energy Plant, electrical distribution systems and water systems to provide steam, chilled water, electricity, natural gas, domestic water, reclaimed water and sewage utilities to the University of Idaho. They propose and execute utility capital projects, project campus utility needs, provide technical review of capital projects, maintenance procedures, shutdowns, fault investigation and in-house design, operations and maintenance and expertise on mechanical systems as required.
The University of Idaho is seeking new and innovative ways to reduce its environmental impact. Energy and resource conservation not only benefits the long-term health of the community, but also drives down operating costs. As power outages become more common, energy markets become more volatile and utility costs continue to increase, it is clear that the University of Idaho must define and implement clear strategic energy plans. This requires a commitment to wise investments in capital projects, establishing energy standards on campus and enlisting all of campus, our P3 partners, state and regional players as stakeholders in energy solutions.
The University of Idaho signed in 2020 a 50-year lease agreement for the institution’s steam plant and utility system. The partnership provides a new way to invest in student success, research and telling our story to better recruit students, as well as benefits the state of Idaho and taxpayers by providing financing for a deferred maintenance plan for the steam plant and utility system. Our partners are Sacyr Plenary Utility Partners Idaho (SPUPI) and McKinstry.
The University of Idaho uses a district energy system for the heating and cooling needs of campus. District energy systems produce utilities such as steam, chilled water and compressed air for use in multiple buildings. The District Energy Plant at the University of Idaho (often referred to as the steam plant or energy plant) distributes utilities to campus buildings through miles of tunnels located under sidewalks and roads. By using a centralized location, energy can be distributed at a lower cost than producing it in every building.
The water systems at the University of Idaho include domestic, reclaimed, sewer and storm water. The university operates its own water system on its Moscow campus, with two deep aquifer wells for domestic water and three shallow wells for research applications and outlying facilities. The reclaimed water system relieves pressure on the aquifer by converting wastewater from the City of Moscow water treatment facility into non-potable irrigation water. Sixty percent of the water use on campus is for domestic and research purposes, while the other forty percent is reclaimed water.
The university’s Water System Consumer Confidence Report for 2022 is available. Previous editions are available upon request.