ENGIE and Meridiam have been awarded a 50-year concession valued at more than $1 billion USD to address the University of Iowa (UI)’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 education enrolling a diverse population of students of varying educational and demographic backgrounds on its campuses. It is also 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 a new Special Purpose Vehicle that is locally resourced to deliver the requirements under the Concession Agreement. The team combines the global reference in low-carbon energy and services, 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.
ENGIE will operate, maintain, optimize, and improve the on-campus utility systems for the University. The scope includes providing heating, cooling, and power to the campus through a dedicated network and managing high quality and sanitary water and storm sewer services.
“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 in next-generation energy management and sustainability,” said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE.
Thierry Déau, CEO of Meridiam said, “As a Benefit Corporation1 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.”
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 $22 billion USD, 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.
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, 109 GW of gross generation capacity, and tens of thousands of operations, maintenance, and technical staff around the world, ENGIE offers comprehensive and tailor-made solutions for a successful zero-carbon transition.
1Within the meaning of the French law