Ohio State Energy Partners will propose a $3.4 million lighting project for 51 buildings across campus to the Board of Trustees this week in an effort to reduce energy consumption. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State Energy Partners will present its first two energy conservation proposals to the Board of Trustees this week — including a $3.4 million lighting project and a $2.3 million upgrade to Dreese Laboratory’s heating and cooling system, according to Board documents released Monday.

The lighting project will upgrade existing lighting to LEDs in 51 Columbus campus buildings over the next two fiscal years to reduce individual building energy consumption. These buildings include Ohio Stadium, Independence Hall and University Hall.

A Dreese Laboratory proposal would reduce energy consumption within the building by 37 percent through upgrades over the next three fiscal years. Upgrades include enhancing the HVAC control system, insulating steam valves and adding a heat recovery chiller, which captures heat from the existing system that can be used for other purposes.

The energy partnership was announced March 2017 and established July 2017. A major component of the partnership requires Ohio State Energy Partners to manage the university’s energy system and meet its sustainability goal of reducing campus energy consumption by 25 percent by 2025.

In addition to the two energy conservation proposals, infrastructure works throughout campus will take place.

Lights in a Dreese Laboratory hallway. In addition to the lighting project, a $2.3 million upgrade to Dreese Laboratory’s heating and cooling system will be proposed to the Board of Trustees later this week. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Updates to McCracken’s boiler system will soon be underway — pending approval. Electronic combustion controls and safety shutdown systems will be updated for $6.2 million, as well.

College Avenue might soon be constructed upon for a $1.8 million utility systems project. To go along with the university’s planned Arts District update, “the project will also address lifecycle renewal of steam and failed condensate return pipelines within the corridor,” according to Board documents.  

Endowments will be created through Ohio State Energy Partners’ $1.015 billion upfront payment to the university — $75 million from the partnership and $43 million from Ohio State Energy Partners and the rest from university reserves — would be set aside to fund unexpected fluctuations in energy prices or other issues relating to the operating cost of energy efficiency.

University President Drake and the Office of Business and Finance also requested $210 million from the energy partnership’s initial payment to Ohio State to be put toward a strategic initiatives endowment, according to Board documents.

“The annual distribution from this fund shall be used to provide support for key university strategic priorities at the discretion of and approved by the president, the provost and senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer,” the documents read.

The Board votes on these proposals Friday.