University develops first of its kind anaerobic digester through creative project development support

Organization challenge

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UWO) is among one of the largest universities in the state with approximately 13,500 students.   UWO has been recognized as a leader in sustainable practices across the country.  A sustainability plan was created in 2006 to further promote and drive the goals set forth by the university.  As part of the plan, UWO developed the first dry fermentation anaerobic digester in the nation that reduces waste issues on campus and also creates renewable energy that produces up to 10% of the university’s electricity and heat.  As part of the development, UWO wished to develop a business structure that allowed for the project to be developed in the most efficient way.

Baker Tilly solution

The Renewable Energy Development Support team at Baker Tilly provided UWO with development support based around the structuring of the project, financial modeling, and strategic tax support.  The Baker Tilly team worked closely with UWO stakeholders to identify, plan, and implement requirements for the potential funding sources to make the project a reality.  


Through creative project structuring, the university was able to take part in the 1603 grant program that allowed for a 30% grant in lieu of the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit.  The creative financial structuring, along with the strong commitment from UWO allowed the project to a success and creates a roadmap for other higher education institutions to potentially follow.