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Power Plant

Contact: Building Systems Control (BSC) at 3-WORK, 4-WORK or by email

Vanderbilt University has an on-campus cogeneration, natural gas-fueled power plant which produces 23% of our electricity and 100% of our steam, servicing 12 million square feet of building space. This steam is then used for 90% of campus heating, sterilization, and 40% of campus cooling. This cogeneration process is quite efficient: heat, which would otherwise be a wasted byproduct of electricity and steam generation, is used to produce more steam and hot water. The remaining 77% of electricity consumed at Vanderbilt is purchased directly from Nashville Electric Service from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Since a portion of electricity produced at power plants hundreds of miles away is actually lost during the transmission process through the electrical lines (line losses), VU can use much less  natural gas than Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) would require to deliver the same amount of electricity to campus.
For more information on the power plant, visit the Power Plant FAQ page. View the presentation on the history of power generation at Vanderbilt here