The Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors announced the approval of an agreement for a 30-year energy services contract with LA Energy Partners, a joint venture of Bernhard, LLC and Johnson Controls, Inc. The agreement with LSU also includes Enwave Energy. The agreement delivers $90 million in immediate modernization solutions, addresses $22 million of deferred maintenance annually, and transfers operation responsibilities of the University’s utilities system over the next three decades.
“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.”
The combination of LA Energy Partners and Enwave Energy marries the operational strengths of both companies to immediately deliver modernization of LSU’s Central Utility Plant and Distribution Center, which keep thousands of classrooms, research labs, administrative offices and other campus resources running.
Under the agreement, LSU’s campus will see $90 million of major initial infrastructure improvements financed and developed. LA Energy Partners are tasked with the design and construction of these initial modernization solutions. Enwave will operate, maintain and provide additional capital improvements to the energy plants and energy distribution systems over the term of the agreement. LA Energy Partners retains the opportunity to design, build, and finance any future building mechanical system upgrades on the Baton Rouge campus.
For Bernhard, the LSU agreement comes on the heels of a six-month chain of awards beginning with the September 2020 closing of a $75M P3 arrangement with East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Alabama. Since then, Bernhard has brought an additional $400M in P3 and Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) transactions to market in a total of four states. At an initial value of $90M, the LSU agreement rivals the company’s 2019 award with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences ($150M), and further distinguishes Bernhard as a national leader in the P3 and EaaS marketplace.
“The awards we’ve received across the United States are very relevant to the LSU opportunity and position our team to provide lasting value to the University as its partner,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our pledge to deliver a transformative outcome to LSU is further backstopped by the expertise and experience of our combined team.”
Bernhard has had a brick-and-mortar presence in Louisiana since 1919, completing more than 400 projects for LSU during that time span, including the design and construction of LSU’s existing combined heating and power system. In addition to its LSU experience, Bernhard also operates and maintains numerous energy plants in Louisiana, including the Shaw Center energy plant in downtown Baton Rouge.
With more than 2,500 employees in the state of Louisiana and 250 LSU graduates on its staff, LA Energy Partners shares much of the same community as LSU and prides itself on bringing that local assurance and expertise once again to a Louisiana powerhouse such as LSU.
“First and foremost we are a neighbor to LSU,” Tinsley said. “When that local passion meets the global strength of our combined team, the result exceeds the sum of its parts.”