YPSILANTI–CenTrio Energy, the Houston-based energy management services company, announced a 50-year public-private partnership with Eastern Michigan University. Eagle Energy Partners, a Houston-based energy trading company owned by CenTrio, will invest in, modernize, and manage EMU’s utility infrastructure while implementing sustainability initiatives.
“Along with Gilbane as our Campus Master Developer, we are excited to partner with CenTrio to advance our sustainable energy goals,” said Mike Valdes, CFO of Eastern Michigan University. “This partnership with CenTrio allows us to modernize our energy infrastructure, reduce deferred maintenance, improve the efficiency and reliability of our systems, and enhance experiential learning at the campus while also providing upfront cash infusion to fund strategic initiatives on campus.”
Throughout the agreement, CenTrio will be entrusted by EMU to modernize, operate, and maintain the electrical, heating, cooling, and domestic water systems on campus. EMU will continue to maintain ownership of its facilities and retain control over decisions on capital improvements.
The parties said the agreement would provide enhanced safety and a significant reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas reduction by nearly 40% and water usage by an estimated 20% over time. Furthermore, this partnership is anticipated to deliver a positive impact on EMU’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) rating, emphasizing the university’s dedication to sustainability and environmental stewardship.
“Sustainability is not just a trend for us at CenTrio, but an ingrained approach and commitment that guides the heart of our operations,” said Peggy Smyth, chair of CenTrio. “By managing and modernizing the utilities for EMU, we empower the university to focus on its core business of academics and research, while ensuring the campus has access to reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy.”
In addition to the operational and financial benefits, the partnership with EMU offers academic collaboration and campus sustainability initiatives for continued student engagement. The sustainability platform produced through this partnership will provide opportunities for student curriculum enhancement and enrichment of the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and surrounding campus community. The partnership also emphasizes a strong social equity focus and commitment to project transparency, fostering a collaborative approach towards creating a more sustainable and inclusive campus.
The agreement also involves the university’s “master developer,” the construction firm Gilbane Inc.
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan, which spans over 800 acres and includes academic buildings, research centers, residence halls, and athletic facilities. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral, and certificate degrees in more than 300 majors, minors, and other concentrations. More at www.emich.edu.
CenTrio serves more than 400 buildings in urban centers, and university and health campuses across the U.S. More at centrioenergy.com.
More about Gilbane at www.gilbaneco.com.