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  June 23, 2003

New Plant To Generate Energy, Cost-Savings

The University plans to save more than $6 million a year by generating its own electricity and much of the heating and cooling and electricity for the Storrs campus.

The project will require construction of a $75 million plant adjacent to the heating plant on Glenbrook Road. The plant, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in May, is expected to generate more than 90 percent of the campus's peak electricity demands when it is completed in two years. The excess heat created in that process will be used to heat most of the buildings and provide about 50 percent of the cooling demands on the Storrs campus.

The cost of the plant, which will be financed using a lease-purchase agreement, will be funded through savings in the annual energy budget.

"This plant will provide the University with an efficient means of meeting the energy demands we have now and those we anticipate having during the next 30 years," said Dale Dreyfuss, vice chancellor for business and administration.

The plant will be built and designed by a team headed by Select Energy, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities. The firm, chosen through competitive bids, is building a similar plant at Bradley Airport. UConn's project will be financed through the Tennessee-based Caterpillar Financial. After the lease is paid off in 30 years, the plant will belong to the University.