The GridWise theme for the month of August is “Buildings as Grid Assets,” and in our Policy and Technology Council meetings, we are exploring the potential benefits of integrating buildings with the grid. Commonly called grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs), the U.S. Department of Energy defines GEBs as combining energy efficiency and demand flexibility with smart technologies and communications to inexpensively deliver greater affordability, comfort, productivity and high performance to homes and commercial buildings. GEB’s can become a major asset to the grid by providing load reduction, demand flexibility and potentially other grid services. DOE’s roadmap for GEBs estimates that the benefits of GEB’s could range between $8 and $18 billion a year by 2030, and cumulatively between $100 and $200 billion by 2040, and would also result in significant CO2 emission reductions.
Speakers during the August Policy Council meeting shared insights and ongoing work related to grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs). Rodney Sobin of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) highlighted an ongoing NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group. NASEO has complied a wealth of resources on GEBs that you can access on our website, along with other materials from our GridWise members on the topic, many of which may be of interest to GWA members. We also heard from Kara Saul Rinaldi from the AnnDyl Policy Group, who authored an excellent report, “Residential Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings”. Kara provided her perspective on potential challenges and opportunities in the area in 2021 (see Figure 1). Our panel also included Ed Carley, NASEO’s building codes expert, who offered his thoughts on how building codes must evolve so that new buildings can be fully integrated with the grid. Also stay tuned for the Technology Council meeting on Wednesday 8/25. We have speakers from Avista and PNNL presenting on a sustainable development partnership in Spokane, Washington and an overview from another PNNL member on a recent Transactive Impact Study.
Figure 1. Residential GEB Technologies (figure adapted from Navigant)
Source: NASEO. Residential Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Report. October 2019.
Check out our website for some of the resources members provided in response to our call for content this month.
PNNL shared information about a technology they developed to support building to grid integration and advanced building controls. Automated fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) is a method to improve building operations, reduce energy consumption, and ensure comfort and safety. AFDD features a distributed sensing and control platform that is integrated with a building automation system to report on sensor or other operational faults in the building system (Figure 2). PNNL estimates that AFDD could reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent and is part of a broader Building Re-Tuning approach PNNL has developed to detect energy savings opportunities and implement improvements.
Figure 2. Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostic System Process.
Source: PNNL. Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics: Affordable Energy Efficiency for Buildings.
NYPA provided slides on a case study they are conducting with Con Edison related to auto-demand load management (aDLM). In September 2020, the New York State Public Service Commission directed all utilities to enact term- and auto-demand load management of recommend term contracts. This aDLM program is anticipated to spur energy storage solutions and deployment and ultimately provide further reliability and peak shaving for the grid.
IBM submitted content making use of its Utility Flexibility Platform in a partnership developed between the City of Copenhagen and Andel, Denmark’s largest utility. IBM’s platform uses a combination of sensors, networks, and algorithms to monitor the grid and customer buildings. When the grid needs energy, the platform can reduce energy consumption from specific buildings that can comfortably do so, and pays those buildings for the difference. It’s estimated that 20% of all energy consumed by Copenhagen’s buildings is flexible and could be a critical resource for operating the grid in Copenhagen.
If you have materials (reports, press releases, videos, etc.) that you would like us to showcase on our website, it’s not too late to forward them. Additionally, start thinking about next month’s theme, Integrating Renewables. We will be asking for content for our website and for your ideas for upcoming Policy and Technology Council meetings. All of this helps us share knowledge of what our members are doing with federal and state policymakers and other stakeholders. Thanks for helping us tell your stories!