Buildings to Grid Integration
The U.S. Department of Energy is coordinating strategies and activities with companies, individuals, and government entities to address the integration and optimization of buildings with the nation's energy grid.
Buildings and the Energy Grid
As electricity demand continues to increase, integrating buildings and the electricity grid is a key step to increasing energy efficiency. Intermittent and/or variable generation sources and loads, such as those of electric vehicles, are being installed on the grid in increasing numbers and at more distributed locations. For example, the U.S. government, many states, municipalities, and utility service areas are diversifying and distributing their generation mix, including a larger percentage of renewable sources for environmental, energy security, reliability and economic reasons. In order to account for, and fully utilize those increased, diversified, and dispersed loads, efficient transactions between buildings and the grid need to become a commercial reality.
These resources have the potential to impact reliability of traditional electricity delivery. However, to support and enhance overall reliability given this new mix of generation sources, commercial building and residential electric loads—which constitute nearly 75% of national use today, according to the Energy Information Administration—must have the ability to quickly vary their usage with a direct positive impact on the existing electrical system. Open markets should be able to reconcile the cost and benefits of these complementary transactions between all interested participants to support value streams (new or existing) in energy efficiency, cost reduction, customer specific service needs, and enhanced reliability of the electricity infrastructure. This optimization can be facilitated with a common integrated approach to the exchange of energy related data, and any associated financial data.
Buildings to Grid Technical Meeting
As a first step to better understanding a range of perspectives on buildings to grid integration, the Building Technologies Office (BTO) held a technical meeting on buildings to grid integration on December 12-13, 2012. The meeting was hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the Energy Systems Integration Facility, and participants included stakeholders from the private sector, utilities, universities, federal sector, and the Department of Energy's national laboratories.
Prior to the meeting, DOE distributed a technical booklet containing several short white papers to help guide the discussion. These white papers included:
- A draft of the DOE's and BTO's vision of the National Value of Buildings to Grid Integration using Transaction Based Controls (found on page 6 of the technical booklet);
- White papers that aimed to explore some of the opportunities and questions the meeting would address from the perspective of the grid; buildings end-use; and communications and information technology (IT) (pages 24-28);
- And a white paper briefly exploring the potential national macroeconomic benefits of buildings to grid integration (page 29).
Key issues identified during the three working session discussions—on grid, buildings end-use, and communications and IT opportunities and challenges—can be found in an appendix of the technical booklet (page 39).
To enhance the collective understanding of promising work in the buildings to grid area, six industry and academic participants gave presentations on ongoing projects. These projects included:
- Bonneville Power Administration: Northwest Smart Grid Demo Project
- George Institute of Technology: GENI Project
- IBM: EcoGrid Denmark Project
- University of California at Berkeley: Simple Measurement and Actuation Profile (sMAP)—Integrating and Managing Physical Data
- SmarteBuildings: Next Generation Energy Measurement and Verification Service
- Electric Power Research Institute: Open Automated Demand Response Demonstration Project
The Gridwise Architecture Council is hosting a Transactive Energy Workshop on February 5–6, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. DOE and BTO plan to have a review draft of an outline of a report on buildings and grid technical opportunities available for this workshop. BTO will also call for volunteers to help in writing the report.