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Big Money: $54M deal to privatize power for state buildings

Governor reaches deal with two energy companies

August 14, 2019 - 5:22 am

The State of Louisiana has reached a deal that will privatize energy systems across dozens of state buildings, and possibly at universities.

Governor John Bel Edwards's administration struck the deal with LA Energy Partners. That's a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard's company, Bernhard Energy Solutions.

The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reports LA Energy Partners will make energy upgrades at 31 state buildings, including the Louisiana Capitol, governor's mansion and Louisiana Supreme Court building, in exchange for $54 million.

Other agencies and universities can opt into similar deals.  Aside from the cash, LA Energy Partners will make money selling off the extra chilled water to other companies to cool their commercial buildings.

The Edwards administration says energy savings from the improvements at state buildings will offset the millions in costs.

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