Harrison Street has signed a 40-year public-private partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for the US university’s on-campus utility system.

The partnership allows alternative real assets investment firm Harrison Street to lease, manage, operate, develop and finance WPI’s on-campus utility system. The partnership is part of WPI’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations.

Cogen Power Technologies will serve as the operator of the facility.

Carolyn Arida, managing director and head of utilities at Harrison Street, said: “We’re thrilled to enter this partnership with WPI and feel proud that we are able to deliver a tailored capital and sustainability solution that fulfils the university’s energy objectives.

“Our district energy portfolio continues to grow, and with that has come an evolved understanding of how we can optimise critical infrastructure to benefit higher education institutions and other organisations.”

Winston Soboyejo, interim president of WPI, said: “As a university committed to the application of knowledge and research to solve the world’s most challenging problems, we aim to be at the forefront of developing, implementing, and transitioning to clean technologies.

“We must also ensure that we are contributing to climate-change solutions. This partnership allows us to do both: WPI’s campus will become a living laboratory where student, faculty, and staff can work side-by-side with Harrison Street and Cogen on projects and research that will result in innovations that address some of the major energy and environmental challenges in the world.”

John Moynihan, a managing partner at Cogen Power Technologies, said: “At Cogen, it has been our goal to be the leader and innovator in all-inclusive energy services – from project start to finish and beyond.

“We look forward to partnering with Harrison Street to implement renewable technologies, including solar, geothermal, batteries and combined heat and power, to advance WPI’s goals of reducing its carbon footprint.”