Halfway into the University of Iowa’s 10-year sustainability initiative, officials say it has reached its progress target and remains on track to achieve 40 percent renewable energy consumption by 2020.
“We are around 15 percent renewable,” said Ingrid Anderson, environmental compliance specialist for the university. “That was our intermediate goal for 2015.”
The university’s growing use of giant miscanthus grasslands is partly to thank, according to Anderson. The UI started by planting 15-acre test plots of the energy-producing crop in 2013 and 2014, and this year transitioned the crop from an experimental phase to a commercial phase by planting 360 acres.