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Howard University partners with ENGIE for a new central utility plant


ENGIE North America announced Thursday it will collaborate with Howard University to deliver a new central utility plant for the institution’s campus in Washington, D.C. Therefore, one of the nation’s premier HBCUs selected ENGIE for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the facility.

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The partnership with ENGIE

ENGIE North America announced today that it signed an agreement with one of the nation’s premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Howard University. In this regard, the company will execute a long-term project for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a new utility plant on Howard’s campus located in Washington, D.C.

Accordingly, Howard’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., said; “Guided by our shared “Howard Forward” strategic vision; Howard is taking a proactive approach to strategizing and modernizing the University’s aging steam plant.”

Also, the COO added: “Our partnership with ENGIE, to address one of the campuses’ more critical infrastructural risks; will not only move our existing steam plant into the 21st century but provide a blueprint for other HBCUs. Mainly, in their efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and become more energy efficient.”

Indeed, the new central utility plant will provide both electric and steam services for buildings on campus. Therefore, under this agreement, ENGIE will design and construct the new plant. Furthermore, once complete, the plant will provide operations and maintenance services over the next 20 years.

This long-term partnership aims to provide safe, reliable operation and resilient service for Howard’s students, faculty, and other stakeholders. Consequently, Howard University expects to further reduce its campus carbon footprint and advance its energy efficiency goals.

In brief, ENGIE plans to begin construction in late-February and expects to reach completion in 2022. According to Howard, the new steam plant will be a modern combined heat and power (CHP) one. Hence, it will generate 35-40 percent of the University’s electric consumption on site.

Howard University: to advance its sustainability goals

Moreover, this technology will be a single source of energy that generates electricity of power at the point of use. Furthermore, it will utilize exhaust heat that would typically be lost in the generation process to be recovered and recycled to produce steam.

Since 2018, the University has collaborated with ENGIE to upgrade its energy distribution infrastructure. Therefore, the company worked alongside the University on a feasibility study that included a site investigation and recommendations for near-term and long-term solutions for the system.

In this sense, both organizations partnered to develop a cost-effective energy solution to ensure safe operations and eliminate the risk of future campus closures.

To summarize, Serdar Tüfekçi, head of large campus partnerships at ENGIE North America Inc., said: “Howard University is an incredible leader in the constellation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the United States.”

Finally, Tüfekçi concluded: “Howard University should take this bold step to lead towards the energy transition. ENGIE North America is proud to serve the community’s long-term vision of creating a utility system that is resilient, reliable, and affordable for the University and its stakeholders.”

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