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UI hires consultants for utilities transition

By District Energy posted 02-18-2019 00:00


Vanessa Miller, The Gazette


IOWA CITY — In looking to monetize its utilities operation and create a new revenue stream, the University of Iowa has agreed to pay three consultants to, among other things, evaluate its assets, identify potential partners and map out a transaction plan.

The UI is looking into whether a company wanting to take over the operation supplying power to the university would pay an upfront fee that the UI could use to create an endowment supporting academics.

One month ago, the UI signed a contract with Jacobs Engineering Group to pay it a lump sum of $185,000 to “develop an inventory report along with high-level assessment and future requirements of its central steam, chilled water, electrical, and water treatment systems.”

That sum doesn’t include travel expenses for consultants or potential upcharges for services outside the initial scope. Hourly rates range from $95 to $355.

The UI also signed an engagement letter with the Jones Day law firm related to its inquiry into whether it makes financial sense to partner with a company to operate its utilities system. Rates for Jones Day attorneys likely to work on the project, according to the letter, range from $800 to $1,050 an hour for partners or $450 to $800 an hour for associates.

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