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Central Energy Plant

Quick Facts

Building Name, Address:

Central Energy Plant, 110 SE 13th Street, Des Moines

Primary Occupants:

Department of Administrative Services

Years Constructed:


Designers & Builders:

Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering


When two new state office buildings (Wallace and Hoover) were in the planning stages in the mid-1970s, it was realized that the Capitol Complex's growing needs included greater power-generating capacity. The original power plant was built in 1800 north of Grand Avenue. A new heating and cooling plant was constructed in the southeast corner of the Capitol Complex in 1976. As part of the move, a study was done to explore alternative energy sources, and by the late '70s the State was already testing using solar energy. Although technology at the time did not result in efficient options for solar energy then, recent updates are leading state government to using more sustainable and efficient energy sources.

Green Features

  • Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) on all chilled water primary pumps
  • 3 of the 4 cooling towers have VFD's on the fans; the other cooling tower is two speed
central 1 central 2 central 3
Five 20-megawatt generators, like the one shown here, provide back-up power for the Capitol Complex.

Photo by: Laura Riordan

The evaporator cooler pulls cold air from outside when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold air is used to cool areas such as rooms housing information technology equipment.

Photo by: Quality Automation Graphics

Pipes in the central energy plant that distribute chilled water throughout the Capitol Complex.

Photo by: Quality Automation Graphics