LSU Board Approves Joint Approach to Utilities Modernization Initiative

Plan is projected to save about $90 million over next 30 years

BATON ROUGE – During a special meeting of the board on Feb. 23, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a plan for modernizing the energy plants, distribution systems, and building mechanical systems at the university’s main campus in Baton Rouge that includes working with both Enwave Energy and LA Energy Partners.

“We are pleased to reach this monumental agreement, which is projected to save LSU and the State of Louisiana approximately $90 million over the next 30 years,” said Robert Dampf, chair of the LSU Board of Supervisors. “Both LA Energy Partners and Enwave bring outstanding technical, financial, operational and development experience to LSU, and we look forward to working together with both partners.”

According to Dampf, LSU will yield efficiencies by capitalizing on both providers’ areas of expertise. In addition to the projected cost savings in electricity, natural gas and maintenance, benefits to LSU include budgeting predictability, improved reliability of its infrastructure and built-in redundancy from generating excess capacity.

The utilities modernization initiative at LSU will address the university’s increased energy demands, assist in achieving operational efficiencies and provide improved levels of service within the university’s current budget. The utilities modernization will impact 493 buildings and 15,057,366 square feet of classroom, labs and administrative space. The savings generated by the utilities modernization initiative will be used to offset deferred maintenance and provide additional resources for university strategic initiatives.  

Under the agreement, Enwave will operate and maintain LSU’s energy plants and energy distribution systems for the next 30 years. Enwave will provide financing for initial energy plant and distribution system improvements intended to improve energy efficiency, reliability, and resiliency. Enwave will also have the opportunity to provide financing for additional energy plant and distribution system improvements needed to accommodate campus growth and address capital renewal and deferred maintenance over the term of the contract.

LA Energy Partners will design and build the initial energy plant and distribution system improvements, as well as any additional energy plant and distribution system improvements over the term. LA Energy Partners will also have the opportunity to design, build, and finance building mechanical system upgrades needed to increase energy efficiency, improve the learning environment, and address capital renewal and deferred maintenance over the term.  

The two companies have a long association with LSU. Enwave began working in New Orleans in 1998, providing thermal energy and backup generation services to LSU’s Health Sciences Center, and has since spent over $100 million modernizing that facility and invested another $200 million in the local economy. LA Energy Partners has had a presence in Louisiana since 1908, completing over 400 projects for LSU over that time span, including the design and construction of LSU’s existing combined heating and power system. In addition to its LSU experience, LA Energy Partners also operates and maintains numerous energy plants in Louisiana, including the Shaw Center energy plant in downtown Baton Rouge.

Enwave, the largest core-competency district energy provider in North America, brings significant campus infrastructure experience and first-rate operations with its robust portfolio of green energy generation.

“Enwave has a long history serving Louisiana and values its relationship with LSU,” said Doug Castleberry, President & COO of Enwave Energy. “We look forward to bringing the same success we’ve seen in New Orleans to this project and continuing to create benefits for the State.”

LA Energy Partners, a joint venture of Bernhard LLC and Johnson Controls Inc., boasts a combined workforce of 110,000 employees and delivers approximately $2 billion annually in financing, operation, and design-build services to public and private customers in North America.  

“Our long-standing relationship with LSU gives our team deep insight into the university’s facilities and their energy systems,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a company with deep roots in Louisiana, we share the Baton Rouge community and its history and future. Any promise made to LSU is a promise made to our own family.”




Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations