Engineering Alumni Giltner, Wagner Help Build Research Park Power Plant

Friday, July 31, 2009

College of Engineering graduates and Alliant Energy engineers Gene Giltner (BS 1980 electrical engineering) and Derek Wagner (BS 2009 electrical engineering) are helping design and construct a renewable energy power plant at the University of Iowa Research Park (formerly the Oakdale Campus). 

The 69,000-volt substation, located in the southeast corner of the campus, is aiding a major upgrade of electrical distribution to handle about 10 years of future growth on the research campus and is part of a comprehensive renewable energy project to demonstrate multiple technologies using locally available renewable fuel sources to meet the expanding needs at the UI Research Park.  The project will serve as an innovative model demonstrating the feasibility of using local materials for production of economical and sustainable quantities of renewable energy for local consumption.  It will provide research, education, and training opportunities for University faculty and students, as well as industry and the general public. 

Phase I construction of the substation represents about $7 million of a multi-phase, $28 million effort.  Phase II involves the installation of two 1-1/2 MW bio-gas capable engine generators with heat recovery to provide power and heat for new buildings scheduled to be built at the UI Research Park. Phase III includes heating and cooling distribution, and the final phase focuses on a chilled water plant.

The new electrical distribution system, new substation, and underground distribution loops will connect the energy plant with Alliant Energy’s Campus electrical service, the UI Hygienic Lab and other future Oakdale Campus facility development.

Giltner is lead electrical engineer and Wagner serves as rotational engineer, substation design, for Alliant Energy.  Before graduating from the UI in May 2009, Wagner was an engineering intern, system protection, for Alliant.