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Kutak Rock Congratulates CSU Fresno State on P3 Financial Closing

News | March 4, 2021

Kutak Rock congratulates Fresno State University, the California State University system and Bulldog Infrastructure Group (Meridiam and NORESCO) on the financial closing of the CSU Central Utility Plant Replacement Public Private Partnership (P3). As lead outside legal counsel, a team of Kutak Rock attorneys represented the team of dedicated professionals that lead Fresno State University CSU.

The over $170 million P3 design-build finance maintain agreement will provide more than 25,000 students, faculty and staff with energy-efficient and reliable heating and cooling. In addition to the construction of a new central utility plant, the project includes photovoltaic solar panels that will be built over campus parking lots to generate clean energy and energy conservation measures within buildings to reduce campus energy usage and carbon footprint. with a target to provide significant energy savings to Fresno State during the 33-year contract, with more than 30% of energy savings expected in the first year of operation. After the operational period, the project will be supported through performance-based availability payments.

This project serves as an important example for the growing campus energy P3 sector in the U.S. and this is the first major utility infrastructure project utilizing a P3 delivery method for the CSU, the largest university system in the United States. Many U.S. universities are increasingly turning to public-private partnerships that provide access to alternate financing methods and private-sector expertise, in order to tackle aging campus infrastructure needs and allow for future campus growth, while accelerating the transition to lower carbon energy generation.

Deborah Adishian-Astone, vice president for Administration and chief financial officer, who spearheaded the project for the University, said the Central Utility Plant Replacement Project is “critically important for our campus.” She added: “This is the first major utility infrastructure project utilizing a P3 delivery method for the CSU system. Our central utility plant was originally built in 1954 and has had limited upgrades over the years. It has definitely exceeded its useful life and failure is a constant threat.”

The project meets UN Sustainable Development Goals for affordable and clean energy, sustainable development and climate action among others.