CenTrio and Bernhard to promote reliability, operational efficiency, and sustainability at LSU under a 30-year public-private-partnership

The P3 deal will create more than $90 million in energy savings


Bernhard and CenTrio reached financial close with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors to modernize the utility systems at the University’s main campus in Baton Rouge. The 30-year partnership is expected to generate substantial energy and operational savings for LSU while promoting sustainability, reliability and efficiency of utility systems campus-wide.

Tiger Energy Partners (TEP), a joint venture between Bernhard and Johnson Controls, will design and construct the initial modernization solutions of LSU’s central power production, steam and chilled water plants. CenTrio, as the concessionaire, will fund the modernization in addition to operating and maintaining LSU’s utility systems for the next 30 years. CenTrio will have the opportunity to perform and invest into additional capital improvements to the utility system needed to accommodate campus growth and address capital renewal and deferred maintenance. TEP will have the opportunity to design, build, and finance future building mechanical system upgrades on the Baton Rouge campus.

“We are thrilled to begin this modernization project at the Baton Rouge campus,” CenTrio’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Castleberry said. “CenTrio looks forward to making the Baton Rouge campus more resilient, efficient, and sustainable. By investing in university campuses, we are not only helping with their immediate energy infrastructure needs but also allowing them to focus capital and other resources on their core mission of education and research.”

“Perhaps the most rewarding part of moving forward with this project is knowing we are increasing local job creation and creating a positive impact for the local economy,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s Chief Executive Officer. “Bernhard was founded in Baton Rouge more than 100 years ago and this partnership highlights our unwavering dedication to Louisiana now, and for future generations to come.”

CenTrio, a leading utility public-private partnership (P3) developer, investor, and operator that develops, manages and operates critical energy infrastructures serving more than 400 buildings in urban centers, universities, and hospitals across the United States with a focus on reliability, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. In October 2020, CenTrio established a similar partnership with Syracuse University to modernize its utility system infrastructure under a 40-year public-private-partnership.

Bernhard has had a 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 and Louisiana headquarters, Bernhard also operates and maintains over 100,000 tons of cooling in markets throughout the Southeast, including the on-going operation and maintenance of the energy plants at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge.

CenTrio also has strong ties to New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. The company began operating in New Orleans in 2000, providing thermal energy and backup generation services to Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center. The company has since spent over $100 million modernizing the facility, expanded to serve other customers in the city, and invested another $200 million in the local economy.