Ohio State University leaders confirm new $300M CHP Power plant delayed again, rises in cost

Feb. 22, 2023
The OSU CHP plant was expected to be about $278 million and has risen to an expected $300 million. The more efficient generation operations, however could reduce carbon emissions 55 percent over current power and cut energy costs by $10 million a year

The completion date for oft-delayed Ohio State University’s new combined heat and power (CHP) plant on campus is being pushed back again.

Costs on the CHP facility are expected to reach close to $300 million, as it has been hit by supply chain and pandemic related issues virtually since the beginning on construction, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The facility, being built to fortify energy resiliency and reduce carbon emissions, is expected to open by early 2024, a few months later than expected.

The original price tag for the OSU CHP plant was expected to be about $278 million, according to an earlier story in EnergyTech. The more efficient generation operations, however could reduce carbon emissions 55 percent over current power and cut energy costs by $10 million a year, according to university reports.

Related story: University of Colorado CHP study: Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Conventional Power

Last summer, OSU Energy Partners, the private firm hired to manage the campus energy infrastructure, fired its original contractor after issuing a notice of default. A new EPC contractor was hired to restart work and guide the project to its hoped-for finish in February 2024.

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The CHP plant will be comprised of electricity generators, a district heat and cooling loop and a central chiller facility. Natural gas-fired combustion turbines will generate the electricity used on campus, while exhaust heat from those units will be converted to beneficial heating and cooling resources.

Ohio State Energy Partners is contracted to operate and maintain the campus utility system for a 50-year agreement period, according to reports.

Construction on the Ohio State CHP plant to power the campus started close to three years ago. An earlier report indicated the university system is working out alternative arrangements for temporary power to some campus buildings while the CHP plant is still under construction.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 15-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.