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Burns & McDonnell Awarded Design-Build Contract to Modernize Texas A&M University’s Central Utility Plant

By District Energy posted 06-21-2022 13:15


Burns & McDonnell


Texas A&M University (TAMU) is partnering with Burns & McDonnell on the modernization and expansion of their Central Utility Plant (CUP) power production systems, which serve the school’s main campus in College Station, Texas.

Operated by the university’s Utilities & Energy Services (UES) Department, the CUP serves more than 70,000 faculty, staff and students engaged in research and educational activities in 800 buildings. The plant uses one gas turbine generator and two steam turbine generators to provide 50 megawatts of energy for the campus. The CUP has the capacity to power 30 million square feet of space across the university’s 5,000 acres.

Implementation of the plant upgrades will begin later this year. Burns & McDonnell will provide design and construction services for this project under a design-build contract, which includes the replacement of a failed 5-megawatt steam turbine generator and its aged auxiliary equipment. The firm also will install an emergency generator with increased capacity and improved controls, upgrade cooling towers and replace a variety of ancillary systems required to support the larger upgrades. The replacement of this power production equipment will allow the university to operate more effectively in the event of a loss of grid power or natural gas supply by converting up to 50,0000 pounds per hour of excess steam to electricity.

The changes will help improve overall reliability and energy efficiency, allowing the plant to deliver critical power during peak demand, system maintenance and grid disruptions.

Burns & McDonnell has a long history of providing utility system services to TAMU. This includes managing electrical and thermal upgrades for more than a decade. The firm’s OnSite Energy & Power Group in Fort Worth will lead this latest project.

“We’re excited to continue our history of providing design and construction services for critical upgrades to the Texas A&M campus utility systems,” says Scott Clark, vice president and general manager for Burns & McDonnell in Fort Worth. “TAMU is a wonderful client that understands the value of an integrated design-build solution for meeting the needs of students, faculty and visitors.”

The construction, engineering and architecture firm — Burns & McDonnell — is ranked No. 1 in Power and No. 10 among the Top 500 Design-Build Firms in the Southeast by Engineering News-Record (2022).

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