Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL

Nova Southeastern University Central Energy Plant

Efficiency solutions we implemented for this university’s central energy plant are projected to bring $17.3 million in savings over the life of the system.

View inside the Nova Southeastern University Central Energy Plant

Value Delivered

As the installation and mechanical contractor, we were not only instrumental in the design and construction of the central energy plant at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), we also maintain its daily operations.

NSU’s central energy plant is one of the largest thermal energy storage systems in the U.S., built to provide chilled water for cooling campus-wide. We worked within their fast-track construction schedule to meet their completion date prior to the start of the school year.

We also helped reduce peak electric demand and operating costs, by installing a total of 72,200 ton-hours of ice storage capacity. The major HVAC equipment is monitored by utiliVisor, helping the plant run at peak efficiency, further reducing energy usage and running costs. The chillers take advantage of off-peak utility pricing to avoid the high cost of electricity during peak hours.

The plant is projected to earn three million dollars in Florida Power & Light rebates, and bring $17.3 million in savings over the life of the system.

Client Objectives

NSU needed a central energy plant that could sustain the university and provide for future expansion cooling while helping to reduce run costs.


Our innovative solutions included:

Ice Storage Facilities

  • 19,800 ton hours of ice storage, 79,200 ton hours at full build-out
  • 30 sets of coils per ice tank, five sets of coils per stack, six stacks total

HVAC Equipment

  • Two 2,300-ton compound chillers
  • Two two-cell composite cooling solutions cooling towers
  • Two cross-flow plate frame heat exchangers
  • 144 eight-foot by three-foot by six-foot ice coils
  • Six pumps (two 200 hp, two 150 hp, two 100 hp)
  • Building Automation System - Alerton

Galvanized Steel Pipe

  • 65,000 feet of pipe per stack
  • 390,000 feet (73.86 miles) of pipe total per ice tank
  • Enables 32.5-degree chilled water to cool 5,000,000 square feet of NSU’s campus

Electric Rooms

  • First Floor: 5,000 kVA oil-filled transformers to drop the voltage from 13.2 kV to 4.16 kV, a battery system, 130 volts DC power supply, and redundant charging system for gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) protection relays
  • Second Floor: 13.2 kV GIS with touch-screen operator, gas-encapsulated bus bar technology, and a power monitoring system

Client Background

NSU is the largest independent institution of higher education in the southeastern U.S. Its 300-acre campus is home to more than 26,000 students.