ISU Power Plant Lighting Improvements

Project Description:

This project replaces 76 inefficient lighting fixtures at the University’s power plant. The new fixtures will replace inefficient lamps that did not last as long as different sources that are currently available.

In order to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs, the existing high-bay fixtures will be changed to 28 watt, T8 linear fluorescent lamps with occupancy controls. The reduced fixture cost and longer lifespan will result in significant maintenance savings as well as energy savings. 

To maximize energy savings, the water treatment, storage mezzanine, and chiller areas will also have occupancy sensors in the fixtures to turn off half of the lamps while the areas are not in use (42 fixtures in total).  The other half of the lamps will remain on in order to maintain low light levels for safety.  The areas with occupancy sensors are not used frequently and are an optimal area for automatic shut-off.  

Project Contact:

Marc McKee, 515-294-8436,

Project Financials:

Loan Amount: $37,035

Return on Investment: Expected annual savings equals $9,470/year with a payback period of 3.91 years. The savings will come from a reduction of energy consumption from inefficient and unneeded lighting and unnecessary maintenance.

Project Outcomes:

In addition to the annual budget savings for ISU and Iowa taxpayers, this project serves as a demonstration project that can be disseminated throughout Iowa State University facilities using high bay lighting fixtures as well as other universities, and businesses in the Ames community and beyond. 

This project is one that not only demonstrates leadership in operations and waste management, but also in awareness and education as related to students, faculty, staff, alumni, grantors, donors, and ISU’s community and professional peers and partners throughout the US and around the world.

Project Status:



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