LSU at Night

The bell tower clock stands tall Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 from the top of the Barnes & Noble at LSU parking garage on E Campus Drive.

The LSU Board of Supervisors approved an energy contract meant to modernize the University’s aging campus energy systems that heat, cool and power the campus during a special meeting of the board Tuesday. 

Board members unanimously agreed, except for Jimmie Woods, who abstained. 

The contract will be split between LA Energy Partners - a joint venture between Bernhard Energy Solutions and Johnson Controls - and the Canadian company Enwave Energy Corporation.

The decision ended a dispute between the two companies fighting for the contract since September. 

Board Chair Robert Dampf said LSU will yield benefits from both providers' areas of expertise. 

“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,” Dampf said. “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.”

LSU General Counsel Winston DeCuir said LSU took the best aspects of both proposals from the companies and put them together in a strategy to modernize its utilities.

Both companies had previous ties to LSU. Enwave provides energy services for the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and LA Energy Partners involves Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard, adoptive father of LSU football wide receiver Drake Davis.  

LSU is estimated to spend over $800 million on the contract over decades, according to The Advocate. 

According to a University press release, Enwave will maintain the LSU's energy plants and distribution systems for the next 30 years. LA Energy Partners will design and build energy plant improvements.

LSU Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard said the contract will not affect tuition. 

“This project will have no impact on tuition and fees,” he said. “It is designed to provide for optimization within the current budget for utilities and maintenance.”

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