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University of Wisconsin – Charter Street Heating Plant

University of Wisconsin - Charter Street Heating Plant - Exterior View of Facility

The Charter Street Heating Plant is one of two campus heating plants serving the University of Wisconsin – Madison, serving 330 campus buildings. Previously reliant on coal-generated energy, as part of the State of Wisconsin and university’s goals for more sustainable, clean energy, the plant was to be transitioned from coal to natural gas. In addition, the rebuild updated all aspects of the plant with highly advanced equipment and controls. For this complex schedule-driven project, the owner, the State of Wisconsin, chose the engineer-procure-construct (EPC) delivery method. This expedited planning, design, and construction, maximized value and provided the State with a single point of responsibility.

The scope of this project included removing the coal boilers and adding four new 225,000 lb/hr natural gas/fuel oil package boilers. The facility buildings required an addition of 70,000 SF to accommodate the new boilers and balance of plant equipment. Some of the balance of plant equipment included water treatment, feed water system, air compressors and condensate collection systems. Additionally, the plant received significant upgrades, including new digital controls, electrical systems, emission controls and fire protection. Lastly, a new 920,000-gallon fuel oil tank was installed, along with a six-cell 50,000 GPM cooling tower.


University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin


Boldt Role
EPC Contractor
Project Type
Renovation / Addition

Conventional Electric Power Plants
Central Utility Plants

Project Highlights

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) enabled project teams to carry the model with them via tablets in the field, allowing for better field coordination and equipment / piping installation and tracking.
  • More than 16,000 LF of small bore pipe and 17,245 LF of large bore pipe was installed.
  • The plant is one of two critical plants that service approximately 330 buildings on campus.