Business-as-Usual (BAU) Forecast

The Business-as-usual Forecast (BAU) is a key modeling concept used by the planning team to develop the Solutions, Portfolios and Strategies in this plan. The BAU creates a base-case scenario that forecasts what would happen if the current district energy system, transportation fleet and related business practices were to continue their current trajectories. The BAU sets up the baseline growth forecast and the mix of programmatic building types (e.g., research, housing, etc.) as the campus is expected to continue to grow through 2050. The BAU assumes that current systems and equipment would be replaced or rebuilt at the end of their useful lives and that additional capacity would be added to support new building loads to continue to provide reliable energy services.

The BAU Energy and GHG forecast projects how the district energy supply system will meet the energy demands of the Growth Profile and the implied Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions of that supply profile. The BAU financials include the major capital expenditures (CAPEX) and annual operating expenses (OPEX). The BAU also establishes a commodity price forecast for purchased electricity, natural gas, and other energy related commodities. The BAU should not be considered a prediction, but rather a modeling tool used to help UMA understand the likely implications of each proposed Solution and Portfolio of Solutions.


Growth Forecast: Campus Building Additions, Renovations and Demolitions

The primary driver of the GHG and Emissions Forecasts are the buildings in the existing and future campus. The consulting team worked with the UMA Capital Planning team to develop a high-level forecast of how campus buildings might change between 2020 and 20401. The campus Growth Forecast includes 18 new capital construction projects ranging from 12,000 to 325,000 GSF, resulting in approximately 1,000,000 GSF of new capital projects expected over the next 5 years. In addition, a net total of just under 2,000,000 GSF of new construction by the year 2040, or approximately 100,000 GSF of new construction / year, over the next 20 years. These assumptions have been provided for modeling efforts only and should not be considered commitments by UMA, especially considering the uncertainties and budget realities caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A summary of the campus growth forecast used in the greenhouse gas modeling is included below in Table 3.

Total New GSF By 2040 GSF
Labs 270,000
Academic 882,000
Housing 875,000
Campus Life 331,000
Other 257,000
Demolitions By 2040 (663,000)
Net GSF By 2040 1,983,000


In addition, UMA is expected to provide air conditioning to approximately 4,000,000 GSF of currently unconditioned space over the same period. As a result of the additional GSF to the campus the campus heating load and campus cooling loads are expected to increase. The peak campus heating load is expected to increase by 57,500 MBH (MBH = 1,000 Btu/h) and peak campus cooling load is expected to increase by 13,700 tons.

As UMA begins to transition off fossil fuels and utilize more electrified systems for heating, such as heat pumps, the cogeneration systems at the CHP will be taken offline in phases. Additional electrical capacity will be required to replace the electricity generated in the cogeneration systems, as well as provide for the increased electricity demand on campus. Both electricity demand increases are expected to be significant.

The following figures highlight the key elements of the BAU Growth Profile. For more detail see Appendix H: BAU Growth, Energy and Emissions Forecast Details.

Graph showing Addition, Renovation, Existing, Demolition and Total Gross Square Feet from 2008 to 2048
Figure 2: BAU Growth Forecast


Map Overlay of Campus with NW, NE, SE, and SW
Figure 3: 2040 Growth by Quadrant


Key Modeling Insights

  • UMA has experienced a period of consistent growth which is expected to continue, but at a slightly slower pace than experienced over the past decade.
  • New growth is expected in the Northwest and Northeast quadrants of campus, but all areas should see some growth through 2040.
  • Based on this forecast, a significant percentage of the existing campus buildings will remain in their current state through at least 2040.


Energy and GHG Emissions Forecasts

The Energy and GHG Emissions Forecasts show the expected quantities of purchased fuels and utilities that will be required to meet the needs of the buildings in the Growth Forecast. A core BAU assumption is that the existing campus district energy system, including the current CHP, continues to operate into the future. This forecast is based on the recent detailed dispatch model created for the East/West Intertie Analysis study by Waldron2 which explored the expected electricity production impact of adding an electrical duct bank to allow UMA to expand electricity generation in the CHP. Based on the recommendations from the East/West Intertie Analysis, UMA is currently in construction of a new high voltage substation that will allow the two existing East and West switch stations to transfer loads to one another and increase feeder capacity. Once the East/West interconnection is complete, the cogeneration systems in the CHP will be able to increase electrical production by approximately 10%. The modeling team used the detailed, equipment-level production data from this study to establish the baseline fuel mix. This baseline mix was combined with the Growth Profile, assumptions about the expected energy intensity of the new, renovated, and demolished buildings in coordination with discussions with UMA facilities to create the 30-year energy forecast. The following figures highlight the key elements of the Energy Forecast. For more detail see Appendix H.

Graph of forcasted MMBTU usage from 2008 through 2050
Figure 4: Stationary Fuels Forecast


Graph of MWh forecast from 2008 through 2050
Figure 5: BAU Electricity Forecast



Key BAU Assumptions – Energy

  • Continuation of current CHP configuration including the Combustion Turbine, Heat-Recovery Steam Generator including Duct Burner, Steam Boilers, and Steam Turbine Generators.
  • Duct bank project goes forward as planned which will increase ability to self-generated electricity by about 10% in 20212.
  • Includes new packaged boiler which could be converted to burn renewable fuel oil. BAU does not include the cost of conversion and assumes only fossil fuels are used.
  • Adds an additional 11,000 MWh of electricity for the expanded cooling through 2032.


Graph displaying MT CO2 forecast from 2010 through 2050
Figure 6: BAU GHG Emissions Forecast, By Scope


Graph Displaying Greenhouse Gas Emissions forecast from 2010 through 2050
Figure 7: BAU GHG Emissions Forecast, By Source


Key BAU Assumptions – GHG Emissions

  • The carbon intensity of purchased electricity will continue to drop driven by state policy and legislation. Purchased electricity in Massachusetts will be 100% decarbonized by 2050 and approximately 35% decarbonized by 2030.
  • Currently UMA does not retain the RECs associated with onsite solar production on campus since they were sold to help fund the project. The BAU assumes the campus will retire the RECs starting in 2027 once the current contract period is over.


Key Modeling Insights

  • Natural Gas, LNG and ULSD are responsible for 87% of scope 1 and 2 emissions today and will increase to make up 96% of emissions by 2030.
  • Fuels used in campus fleet vehicles are responsible for about 1.4% of emissions today.


BAU Cash Flow Summary

The consulting team, working with support and input from the UMA staff developed a set of key financial metrics to understand the implications and relative cost-effectiveness of the Solutions and Portfolios under consideration. The full set of financial metrics and related assumptions are included in the B&D CAP modeling excel workbook, which has been provided to UMA as a separate deliverable.

The following table provides an overview of the BAU Cash Flow Summary which provides a snapshot of key years in the Business-as-Usual reference case. Additional details including commodity pricing, capital expenditures and operational cost assumptions can be found in Appendix I: Cash Flow Details.

Cost of Utility Services

(Then Current Dollars x 1,000) History Forecast            
Item 2019 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045


Purchased Electricity


$4,171 $5,140 $6,830 $8,239 $9,537 $9,905 $10,926
Total Stationary Fuels $14,105 $13,650 $15,535 $18,261 $19,126 $21,171 $23,070 $25,192
Natural Gas Cost $10,393 $9,839 $11,140 $13,399 $13,689 $15,064 $16,211 $17,487
ULSD Cost $1,348 $1,124 $1,410 $1,577 $1,769 $2,006 $2,219 $2,455
LNG Cost $2,364 $2,687 $2,985 $3,285 $3,668 $4,101 $4,640 $5,250
RFO Cost $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other Commodities $712 $730 $826 $934 $1,057 $1,196 $1,353 $1,531
Non-Commodity O&M $2,698 $4,211 $5,275 $6,067 $7,665 $8,799 $10,396 $11,310
Carbon Offsets $0 $0 $0 $2,841 $3,661 $4,740 $5,997 $7,587
Renewable Energy Credits $0 $0 $0 $492 $411 $286 $143 $0
Total Cost of Energy $23,275 $22,762 $26,776 $35,425 $40,159 $45,729 $50,864 $56,546


Capital Expenditures

(Then Current Dollars X 1,000) 2019 2020 - 2024 2025 - 2029 2030 - 2034 2035 - 2039 2040 - 2044 2045 - 2049 2050
CAPEX $0 $35,943 $47,606 $56,651 $70,274 $76,605 $208,421 $20,682


Key BAU Assumptions - Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

  • Non-Commodity O&M includes major equipment maintenance, steam distribution system maintenance, environmental compliance, core staff and training.
  • Commodity Costs
    • Purchased Electricity – includes both fixed and variable costs as well as the embedded cost of compliance RECs purchased by the utility on behalf of all customers.
    • Stationary Fuels – includes both fixed and variable costs.
    • Carbon Offsets – based on Scope 1 emissions starting in 2030.
    • RECs – based on the number of MWh of purchased electricity starting in 2030.
  • CAPEX includes replacement costs for major HVAC equipment and distribution systems that would require replacement during the study period, including chillers, CHP equipment and steam distribution piping.


Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)

Key BAU Assumptions

  • Equipment major repairs and/or end-of-life replacement
  • Steam system maintenance and phased replacement
  • Chilled water system expansion to meet increased cooling loads