BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University’s governing board has agreed to enter into an $810 million energy contract for outside companies to operate, maintain and improve the campus’ energy plants for three decades.

The deal had grown controversial amid bickering about which contractor should be selected, closed-door negotiating with companies and the lack of a public bid process.

The Advocate reports the final agreement involves two contractors: Enwave Energy Corp. and a joint venture that includes Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard and the national firm Johnson Controls Inc.

The deal involves LSU paying $27 million a year.

University system board members say that's $3 million less the campus spends each year on utilities, operations and maintenance than its current budget.

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