February 13, 2017
Facilities Management
Bill Paulus


Update on Main Energy Plant

Dear FM,

The conversion of the U’s “Old Main” steam plant to a state-of-the-art combined heat and power plant (CHPP) is one of FM’s more exciting projects, and the work is nearing completion.
The East Bank site required unique solutions during the design, permitting and construction phases including the need for significant hazardous material abatement, approval for the cliffside location overlooking a national scenic river and park, and its placement in the middle of a dense urban area. Our Energy Management team along with CPPM, Abatement, Codes, Sustainability, Finance and others have worked through the many challenges.

Last Friday the Regents approved the name Main Energy Plant, and on Jan. 18, teams completed the “first fire,” the inaugural startup of the turbine engine. The event allowed us to observe how the plant is initially functioning and address items that could impact the plant’s ability to provide electric power and steam for the Minneapolis campus. Over the coming weeks, the team will continue to refine operations until the Main Energy Plant is fully online. Commercial operation is expected by April 1. The plant is critical to our ongoing efforts to reduce campus emissions, and we anticipate it will contribute to a 10 - 13% reduction in the U’s overall carbon footprint. In addition, the plant will reduce operating costs by $2 million per year. Learn more about the Main Energy Plant.

If you’ve been on the FM website today, you probably noticed the new look of the homepage, including more stories and prominent links to commonly used pages. We will be featuring more frequent news updates on the homepage, so check back regularly to see what’s going on across FM. The site refresh is the first step in an overhaul of our website aimed at better serving our employees and customers.

Have a great week,

Weekly Notes

  • Avoid the rush! The online wellness assessment for Wellness participants is due by March 31. The website gets busy closer to the due date, so complete it now to ensure you earn 150 points. 
  • The last Biometric Screening for 2nd shift will occur today, Feb. 13, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, Boynton Clinic, Room W120. Fasting is not necessary and you gain an easy 150 points. See your manager to sign up - it’s not too late!
  • Have an item to share with all FM? Send it to Christie Wells to be included in a future Weekly.

Bill Paulus the interim AVP for FM
Bill Paulus is the interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. He regularly publishes memos to communicate information and issues that affect FM staff.