Georgetown University

Sustainable Energy Partnership

 

As part of its ongoing work to promote sustainability on campus, Georgetown University has joined forces with Georgetown Energy Partners, an entity comprised of ENGIE North America (ENGIE) and Axium Infrastructure (Axium). In ENGIE, Georgetown recognized the value that deep energy-sector expertise can bring as the University adopts cleaner and more adaptable technologies and processes. To support this work, ENGIE has tapped Axium’s exceptional expertise in financing major infrastructure projects on university campuses.

 

The partnership has three goals: improve the operational efficiencies of Georgetown’s energy infrastructure; continue to enhance the university’s leadership in environmental stewardship; and fully engage the entire Georgetown University community in these operational and stewardship activities.

100%

renewable energy
by 2035

35%

reduction
in overall energy
consumption

Carbon
Neutral

by 2030

Environmental Leadership

 

Georgetown strives to lead by example — embarking on bold projects that demonstrate how universities and other complex organizations can enhance their sustainability efforts. Georgetown Energy Partners anticipates that the projects it undertakes will enable the university to become carbon neutral by 2030 and achieve 100% renewable power by 2035. The operational and experiential leverage the university gains through Georgetown Energy Partners will make additional renewable energy and energy efficiency projects not only feasible in the short-term, but beneficial over many years.

Energy Infrastructure Enhancements

 

Under the collaborative arrangement, ENGIE will lead the modernization of the university’s energy infrastructure, including the utility, distribution, monitoring, and control systems. Applying advanced analytics to data collected from a network of smart meters installed in most campus buildings will allow the university to significantly optimize its campus energy system. This data-driven approach will be central to helping Georgetown achieve a 35% reduction in energy use intensity, as well as other objectives. ENGIE will implement and invest in new energy solutions and operational efficiency improvements.

Broad Engagement for Communitywide Benefit

 

Georgetown Energy Partners aligns with the university’s mission to inspire service to the greater community through a holistic educational experience. In this spirit, the partnership will create opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to participate in energy-related projects on campus. Students exploring careers in the renewable energy sector and its affiliated fields will benefit from working alongside industry veterans from ENGIE.

Electric icon

Big.

Georgetown University’s energy infrastructure delivers 123,202,860 kilowatts of electricity and 805,453 MBtus of natural gas annually.

Scale icon

Balanced.

The university owns the energy infrastructure and retains control over capital improvement decisions. ENGIE operates the campus utilities and manages the projects on campus.

Global icon

Built on Expertise.

Projects will benefit from ENGIE’s global experience, its successful partnerships with other higher-ed institutions, and from its advanced analytics, which will inform infrastructure decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Georgetown Energy Partners?

Georgetown Energy Partners is a partnership entity formed by ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure to operate and improve campus energy systems at Georgetown University under a 50-year agreement. This partnership was established to support Georgetown as it modernizes and enhances its energy infrastructure.

What is the basis of the partnership agreement?

Under the agreement, ENGIE will assume responsibility for the enhancement, operation, and maintenance of the systems that heat, cool and distribute power to the university’s Washington, DC, campuses. ENGIE will invest and implement various capital improvement projects, which will reduce energy use and modernize critical infrastructure. Throughout the term, Georgetown will continue to own its energy infrastructure and retain control over capital improvement decisions.

What is the service area covered by the new partnership?

The projects undertaken by Georgetown Energy Partners will cover both the Main Campus and the Law School Campus in downtown.

Why was the term set at 50 years?

A long-term agreement is essential for partnerships of this nature, so that the parties can take a sustainable, holistic approach to infrastructure modernization, energy efficiency and capital investment planning.

How will the partnership help Georgetown meet its sustainability goals?

The partnership will enable significant upgrades to Georgetown’s major utility, distribution, monitoring, and control systems that will help reduce the university’s Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) by 35% and contribute to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. By partnering with ENGIE, a global leader in energy services, Georgetown will be able to chart the most effective and cost-efficient paths to these outcomes.


Further, the success of the partnership will better position the university to evaluate additional investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, while continuing to divest investments in fossil fuel companies.

Will the partnership sell electricity or natural gas to Georgetown?

No, the University will continue to buy directly from its existing providers. ENGIE will work to enhance Georgetown’s effectiveness in the procurement process for electricity, natural gas, and other energy sources.

What will happen to current employees of the utility system?

Both Georgetown and ENGIE are committed to the long-term well-being of the utility staff members that will engage in the partnership. ENGIE hopes to retain 100% of the existing utility team and will make an offer of employment to each staff member.


Should a team member choose to remain employed by Georgetown, the university is dedicated to maintaining a position for them on campus. Georgetown will also continue to honor all collective bargaining obligations that it has with respect to such a potential decision and its effects on employees represented by 1199SEIU.

Will the partnership provide opportunities for academic collaboration?

Yes. As Georgetown transfers the responsibility of its campus’ energy management to a third-party expert, it will be better equipped to deepen its focus on its core mission of fostering a leading academic community. In addition, the partnership creates the potential for a major academic partnership with ENGIE that would generate opportunities for innovative research and teaching that further promotes environmental studies and empowers students to drive forward sustainability initiatives.

Partnership About ENGIE About Axium

About the Partners

Georgetown Energy Partners is a partnership entity formed by ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure to operate and improve campus energy systems at Georgetown University. The 50-year partnership with the University is the latest in a series of collaborations between ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure, which began in 2017. Previous energy collaboration successes include concessions at The Ohio State University and at the Longwood Medical Area in Boston.

ENGIE North America

As a power generator, energy services company, and retail electricity supplier, ENGIE North America is the only company that delivers comprehensive, integrated services across the entire energy value chain. This makes ENGIE a preferred provider to universities, cities, healthcare providers, and other social infrastructure entities. ENGIE’s business strategy focuses on delivering safe, reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable energy solutions that meet customer needs over the long term. Nearly 100% of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable.

Axium Infrastructure Inc.

Axium Infrastructure is an independent portfolio management firm dedicated to generating long-term investment returns through investing in core infrastructure assets. Axium focuses on assets supported by robust market demand that are under long-term contract with creditworthy counterparties. Since 2010, the firm has invested in a diversified portfolio of over 165 North American infrastructure assets. As of May 31, 2021, Axium had approximately US$5 billion in assets under management, as well as over US$1 billion in co-investments.

Documents & Resources

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This website will be updated as more information becomes available about Georgetown Energy Partners and its upcoming projects. If you have questions about the partnership, please fill out the contact form below.