Oregon State University Energy Center and Power Grid

Oregon State University (OSU) is nationally recognized for its forward-looking commitment to sustainability, efficiency and renewable energy. However, their 1920s-era steam heat plant was a relic of the past—a structurally unsound building housing out-of-date, unreliable equipment. The University sought to create a new Energy Center that would provide increased heat and energy capacity while minimizing environmental impact.

OSU retained Heery to provide commissioning, design review, and facilities staff boiler plant to Combined Heat and Power (CHP) training for the project. Due to the technical complexities of the project, Heery provided the University with an extraordinarily high level of commissioning services from the design phase through closeout.

The new 27,000 SF, $55 million Energy Center combines heating and electricity generation, allowing OSU to provide nearly half of its electrical needs on site. It also set a standard in sustainability by being the nation’s first higher education, LEED® Platinum cogenerating energy plant. The Energy Center promises to lower the University’s energy costs by around $650,000 per year while reducing its carbon footprint. A major benchmark of success was Heery’s ability to help the University complete the construction, commissioning and operator training of the new energy center while still maintaining continuous steam production to the campus. Considering the major revisions that were made to the campus steam distribution system, this took an immense amount of coordination and very careful planning to ensure a smooth transition to the new plant while preserving steam production from the old plant. Annual energy savings are on average 7% better than predicted during the first 3 years of operation under design loads.

Key project components include:

  • Heat recovery steam generator
  • Auxiliary boilers
  • Fuel gas compressor
  • Plant control system
  • Combustion turbine generator




Corvallis, OR


27,000 SF


LEED Platinum Certified; 2010 PB Americas, Project of the Year, Category D - contract under $1 million