University of Iowa wants power plant to become revenue source

University of Iowa campus on Monday, January 28, 2019. (COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF IOWA)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa hopes a private partner can take over its utilities and help fund the University's mission.

The UI says it is seeking a public-private partnership that would let the university keep ownership of its utilities. The private company would then manage and run the company.

The University says the initial agreement would create an endowment from the utilities that would generate revenue for the University's operations.

The University says any partnership will include:
-The university will be able to operate the plant without burning coal no later than Jan. 1, 2025.
-The new plant operator will continue to explore new sources of bio-fuels creating sustainable, lower-cost fuel options.
-All facilities will be maintained by the new operator in similar or better condition.
-Campus-wide sustainability efforts will be continued.

Employees with the University's utilities would either get a new job with the new partnership or have an opportunity for a different job at the school.

The University is planning informational sessions on the idea but hopes to find a partner and have an agreement in place by the end of the year.

Here is the full timeline from the University:
-Feb. 12: Faculty Senate information session
-Feb. 13: Staff Council information session
-Feb. 19: UI Student Government information session
-March 4: UI Graduate and Professional Student Government information session
-March 5: Information session on the west side of campus, 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Urmila Sahai Conference Room, Medical Education Research Facility, room 2117
-March 6: Information session on the east side of campus, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Big Ten Theater, Iowa Memorial Union, room 348
-April 1: RFQ released
-Early June 2019: RFP released
-Early fall semester 2019: Vendor selected
-Fall semester 2019: Board of Regents evaluation
-Late fall semester 2019: Agreement signed
-FY21: Resources first allocated