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2013 Media Releases

September 27, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mike Lang, Mayor’s Office-Economic Development, 402-441-7511
Meg Lauerman, University of Nebraska, 402-472-0088

City and UNL Partner on Renewable Energy System for Innovation Campus

Mayor Chris Beutler and University of Nebraska—Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman today announced a joint project to use reclaimed, non-drinkable water from the City's Theresa Street Wastewater treatment plant to heat and cool facilities at Innovation Campus. UNL's investment of $12 million in the Central Renewable Energy System (CRES) has been approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and will be introduced to City Council Monday, September 30.

"Over the last several years, the City of Lincoln has strived to become known as a good steward of our environment," said Mayor Beutler. "The Central Renewable Energy System is a very unique arrangement that should have broad appeal to private businesses who embrace renewable energy and sustainability. We are pleased to be able to partner with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to make this project a reality."

"The construction of Innovation Campus should be innovative and sustainable. This unique technology demonstrates our commitment to both," said UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman.

"This central renewable energy system serving Nebraska Innovation Campus is one of only a few such systems in the world," said Nebraska Innovation Campus Executive Director Dan Duncan. "We are demonstrating our commitment to innovation as well as to the environment."

The reclaimed water from the City's Theresa Street Wastewater Treatment Plant will be diverted to a heat exchange facility located on Innovation Campus. The reclaimed water will then return to Salt Creek. A closed-loop, similar to a geothermal heat pump system, will be installed to serve the individual buildings. Depending on the season, heat content will either be absorbed or rejected to provide heating and cooling energy to Innovation Campus. This system can provide capacity for up to an estimated 1.8 million square feet of space.

Once approved by City Council, construction would begin soon, and the system is scheduled to be in operation next spring or summer.

Olsson Associates is the engineering firm on the project. More information on Nebraska Innovation Campus is available at

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