Eastern Michigan University (EMU)

CenTrio's 50-Year partnership with Eastern Michigan University (EMU) aims to modernize and operate their utility systems and help support their sustainability and resiliency efforts, as well as establish a new revenue stream for their academic, retention, and enrollment efforts.

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University Challenge

Many academic institutions face the challenge of addressing their primary mission – providing students with the best possible experience – while also grappling with operational issues which includes using campus space wisely, maintaining community relations and tending to aging infrastructure. These same issues challenged Eastern Michigan University, whose 53M sqft campus serving around 22,000 students was in need of an infrastructure upgrade to modernize utility systems and create more efficient and sustainable energy systems.

CenTrio Solution

As the Concessionaire and Operator, CenTrio is responsible for the modernization, operation, and maintenance of the EMU campus utility system under a 50-year agreement. The total initial modernization project includes $115 million initial investment to modernize the Central Utility Plant, Highland Utility Center, part of the distribution system, and electrical infrastructure.

This capital improvement project will modernize the utility systems to address near term needs and invest in future lifecycle maintenance projects that will ensure enhanced reliability. The initial modernization project includes all steam, chilled water and power facilities for the 1,000-acre main campus. Additionally, the project is expected to draw a diverse, inclusive and local team to achieve these goals.

Value Delivered

This groundbreaking public-private partnership will generate significant cost savings for EMU and streamline operations, while implementing innovative sustainable and reliabile utility systems campus-wide, including reducing the university’s overall carbon footprint.

In addition to the operational and financial benefits, the long-term partnership with EMU offers academic collaboration and campus sustainability initiatives for continued student engagement. The sustainability platform produced through this partnership will provide opportunities for student curriculum enhancement, direct positive impact to university ratings, rankings, and accreditations, and enrichment of the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and surrounding campus community. 

By the Numbers

Partnership Contract
CenTrio Investment
Energy Consumption and GHG Reduction
Reduction Water Usage
Million Square Feet
48.8 MMKwH
Total Annual Electrical Usage
4,013 MCF
Total Campus Gas Usage
263,741 Klbm
Total Annual Steam Usage

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