February 26, 2018

UMaine System reopens energy contract, turns to No. 2 bidder

The University of Maine System has reopened contract negotiations for the University of Maine's long-term energy needs, after learning on Feb. 21 that the successful bidder, ConEdison Solutions, was withdrawing its bid, which had been reported in an investigative story by the Portland Press Herald to be between $100 million and $150 million.

In its withdrawal letter, ConEdison cited uncertainty about its ability to lease power-generating assets in the former Expera Mill in Old Town that had made up a significant portion of its proposal.

Citing the announcement in late January that OTM Holdings LLC had acquired ownership of the mill, ConEdison Solutions General Manager Jack Bosch noted in his Feb. 21 withdrawal letter that the new owner was in the early stages of its planning process for the site and had not determined if its plans would accommodate ConEdison's proposed lease of the power-generating assets to serve UMaine.

"Given this uncertainty, ConEdison Solutions is unable to provide a firm pricing offer to the University and/or deliver a plan for securing control of the power-generating assets within the University's prescribed time-frame," Bosch wrote. "... ConEdison Solutions hereby withdraws from further negotiations with the University."

UMaine System turns to runner-up bidder

Following ConEdison's withdrawal, the UMaine System's Office of Strategic Procurement announced Thursday it will negotiate with Honeywell International, which had the second highest score in University of Maine Energy Solutions Solicitation to provide energy to UMaine's Orono campus.

"Subject to a new review period under University of Maine System procurement policy, the award grants Honeywell International the right to negotiate a long-term energy solution for the University that meets the institution's objectives around cost minimization, cost predictability and stabilization, climate commitment, and improved reliability," the UMaine System stated in a news release.

The UMaine System also notified 14 unsuccessful bidders of its intent to reopen negotiations with Honeywell International.


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