Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Finance  -  May 3, 2019

Duquesne University forms partnership to improve efficiency and reliability

Duquesne University in Pittsburgh has entered into a 40-year energy services agreement following Duquesne’s sale of its Tri Generation facility to Clearway. With this arrangement, Duquesne becomes the second recent university in the U.S. and the first in Pennsylvania to monetize energy assets via a Tri Generation facility, which allows users to convert excess steam that otherwise becomes waste into reliable energy for electricity, water heating, and cooling.

A statement from Clearway explained that the partnership creates an arrangement to interconnect the Duquesne System, owned and operated by Clearway, to a neighboring Clearway system, which will make operating both facilities more efficient and provide back-up capacity if either system needs to shut down for maintenance or other reasons. The new arrangement will also monetize excess steam capacity currently produced by the plant on Duquesne’s campus, unlocking economic value for the University.

The transaction demonstrates ongoing momentum in the higher education sector for schools to monetize their energy assets under public-private partnerships and outsource energy services, allowing them to reinvest in their core missions and services, according to the statement.

“This partnership will allow Duquesne to focus its resources on its core mission of educating students,” said Matt Frist, vice president for finance and business for Duquesne. “Further, this initiative directly aligns with the University’s strategic plan and one of the City of Pittsburgh’s Eco Innovation District goals aimed at pursuing solutions for district energy within Uptown.” Duquesne’s Utility System was originally constructed in 1967 and converted in 1997 to a Tri Generation facility.

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