Ohio State said it plans to use the $1.165 billion upfront payment for student financial aid, wage increases for faculty and staff, classrooms, labs and performance spaces and other strategic initiatives.
In exchange for the cash and control of the energy system, Ohio State will pay ENGIE-Axium: $45 million a year, with 1.5 percent annual inflation increases; $9.2 million operating fee that will be adjusted based on actual costs; and a variable fee tied to capital investments the company makes on campus.
Related: OSU moving toward privatizing its power system
Ohio State utility workers are expected to be offered jobs with ENGIE-Axium or they may take other university jobs at their current pay levels.
The deal is expected to be presented to the University Senate on Tuesday and the Board of Trustees on April 7. Leasing out the energy system in exchange for cash up front has been studied since 2014.
Ohio State will be the largest institution nationwide to hire private companies to manage its energy systems on a long-term lease.
In 2012 Ohio State executed a 50-year lease of its parking spaces to QIC in Australia.
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