Ohio State University said last fall that it was considering leasing the management of its utilities and lighting systems to an outside company. Buildings on the Columbus campus need at least $250 million in energy efficiency improvements.
Now, Columbus Business First reports that OSU has received more responses than expected from companies wanting to work on the school’s energy-privatization plan. The school issued a request for qualifications in February and has received 44 responses so far.
In such an arrangement, a company would sign a long-term lease with the university and then find ways to make the university more energy efficient. The company would then split any savings with the university.
Columbus Business First says that finance firms plus general and niche power companies are among those showing interest, along with local companies and those with international reach.
The next step is for OSU to issue a request for information, which will be more specific. Then finally, the school will issue a request for proposals in early 2016.
The University of Oklahoma has an energy-privatization setup, but the school is much smaller.