IOWA CITY, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meridiam and ENGIE North America have been awarded a 50-year concession valued at more than $1 billion USD to address the University of Iowa’s energy, water, and sustainability goals for two campuses spanning 1,700 acres in Iowa City, Iowa. These campuses together form one of the largest university footprints in the United States.
Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is the state’s oldest institution of higher education1, enrolling a diverse population of students of varying educational and demographic backgrounds on its campuses. It is one of the nation's premier public universities with top-tier programs in the health sciences, special distinction in the arts, and the #1 Creative Writing Program in the U.S. (40+ Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty and alumni).
“The University of Iowa is pleased to partner with ENGIE and Meridiam over the next 50 years in order to deliver on the UI’s strategic plan, which is focused on the success of students; research and discovery; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and engagement,” says UI President Bruce Harreld. “With ENGIE and Meridiam, the university has found partners who share our values of investing in our people, improving sustainability, and transitioning toward a zero-carbon footprint.”
Meridiam and ENGIE will be 50/50 partners in an organization that is locally resourced and will concretely contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals2 and allow the University to meet its energy transition objectives.
The team combines the world’s leading energy services provider, ENGIE, with one of the leading long-term sustainable energy transition infrastructure investors, Meridiam. This partnership offers the University global resources, operational knowledge, and best practices needed to deliver crucial services while enabling the University to focus on its core missions in academics and research.
Under this agreement, ENGIE will operate, maintain, optimize, and improve the on-campus utility systems for the University. The scope includes providing heating, cooling, and electricity to the campuses through a dedicated network while also managing high quality and sanitary water and storm sewer services.
One of the key features of this agreement is to help the University transition to coal-free energy production on campus by January 1, 2025, if not sooner.
ENGIE and Meridiam will also work with the University to assure:
- Multiple services and solutions involving reduction in energy usage as well as generation sources such as renewable energy, microgrids, energy storage and other innovative technologies preparing the campus for a resilient and sustainable future are explored
- A seamless transition to welcome all current utility system employees
- Students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to benefit from experiential learning and innovation via internships, projects, and research opportunities in energy and other areas, including through an innovative program to enhance awareness of ways to improve resource use for students and other members of the University community
“ENGIE looks forward to supporting the University of Iowa in its zero-carbon transition. Over the next 50 years, we will continually work to improve system efficiency, cost, and performance both operationally and environmentally, leveraging the power of our global experience and focus on innovation to make the University of Iowa a showcase for next-generation energy management and sustainability,” said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE.
Thierry Déau, CEO of Meridiam said: “ As a Benefit Corporation built on the framework of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, with a strong focus on delivering access to clean energy across the globe, Meridiam is delighted to partner with ENGIE on this important project that will establish the University of Iowa as a landmark clean energy campus community for future generations.”
After winning a similar 50-year concession with The Ohio State University and acquisition of critical infrastructure to serve six Harvard-affiliated hospitals in Longwood Medical Area in Boston under a 34-year agreement, the work to be done with the University of Iowa reinforces ENGIE’s commitment to serving the university and healthcare sectors in North America. As the world’s leading energy services provider with more than 350 district energy systems, 113 GW of total generation capacity, and tens of thousands of operations, maintenance, and technical staff around the world, ENGIE offers comprehensive and tailor-made solutions across a broadening array of services to these customers.
Meridiam is a leading developer, investor, and asset manager specializing in greenfield infrastructure with a core focus on sustainability and impact. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) stand at the core of Meridiam’s business approach for each one of its 75 projects worldwide. The firm’s energy transition portfolio spans three continents, and more than 20 major projects in the field of renewable energy production and energy efficiency (700 MW of solar, hydro and geothermal; 520 GWh of biomass/biogas, 200,000 tons/year of waste to energy and 300,000 solar home systems), or e-mobility (more than 10,000 electric vehicle charging stations). Present in North America since 2007, Meridiam has 15 projects and assets under development, construction, or in operation on the continent for a total value of more than USD 22 billion, garnering numerous awards for leadership in energy and environmental design efficiency for projects including the Long Beach Courthouse (California), the CR-CHUM (Canada), and LaGuardia Airport Terminal B.
“We are entering a relationship with the University of Iowa that will span across generations,” Kocher and Déau concluded. “ENGIE and Meridiam look forward to uniting our strengths with the University to provide a sustainable future for years to come.”
About ENGIE North America
ENGIE North America Inc. offers a range of capabilities in the United States and Canada to help customers decarbonize, decentralize, and digitalize their operations. These include comprehensive services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy and other resource use and expense; clean power generation; energy storage; and retail energy supply that includes renewable, demand response, and on-bill financing options. Nearly 100% of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable. Globally, ENGIE is the largest independent power producer and energy efficiency services provider in the world, employing 160,000 people in 70 countries. For more information on ENGIE North America, please visit our Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook pages, www.engie-na.com and www.engie.com.
Meridiam was founded in 2005 by Thierry Déau, with the belief that the alignment of interests between the public and private sector can provide critical solutions to the collective needs of communities. Meridiam is an independent investment firm specializing in the development, financing, and management of long-term and sustainable public infrastructure projects and assets in the mobility, energy transition and social infrastructure sectors. With offices in, Addis Ababa, Amman, Dakar, Istanbul, New York, Luxembourg, Paris, Toronto and Vienna, Meridiam currently manages 7 billion Euros of assets, and more than 70 projects and assets to date. Meridiam is certified ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 26000 Advanced by VigeoEiris and operates on a proprietary methodology in relation to ESG and impact based on UNSDGs. www.meridiam.com Meridiam
2 especially Goal #4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), Goal #6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), Goal #7 (ensure access to affordable, clean, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), Goal #9 (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) and Goal #13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).