Cost of Ohio State’s Combined Heat & Water Plant Soars Amidst Delays

April 11, 2024|

Image courtesy of OSEP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A state-of-the-art, combined heat and power plant originally expected to cost $278 million to build now has a price tag of $420.8 million and has faced multiple delays but appears to be moving forward again.

In 2017, Ohio State University – the location for the plant – sold its energy infrastructure for more than $1 billion to two French companies, Axium Infrastructure and ENGIE. These two companies together formed a joint venture, Ohio State Energy Partners. As part of the joint venture, the goal was to operate the university’s heating, cooling and power and construct the gas plant.

The initial goal for the combined heat and power plant was to generate 105.5 megawatts of electricity by using exhaust energy from natural gas combustion turbine generators and reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent in year one.

In September 2020, project plans were approved, but in 2021 Sierra Club sought to block construction of the 8,000-ton cooling facility, saying the project went against decarbonization plans.

During August 2022, OSEP issued notices of default and terminatino to the original general contractor, New York-based Frank Lill and Son, two years into construction.

In October 2022, Florida-based Mas Tec stepped in to build the plant, which was originally expected to reach completion in late 2021. By this time, construction delays and supply chain constraints had escalated the project’s cost to more than $300 million.

Mas Tec continues construction on the plant and anticipates completion this fall.







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