This installment of the AEG podcast features Jill Brosig, the Senior Vice President of Harrison Street Real Estate. She presents the private investment management firm’s holistic approach to rating and ranking building performance in today’s electrified world. Ms. Brosig divided the standards of best building practices into categories —energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience — and emphasized the importance of creating metrics to define the success of programs. She talks about transparency in communicating and understanding beneficiaries’ needs for smart buildings, giving anecdotes from her work in improving senior housing.
In this episode, Kyle Hendricks, Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability at the CBRE Group, discussed smart buildings and grid modernization in relation to its corporate client McKesson, a medical equipment distribution company. He narrates the process behind the creation of a company roadmap for a smart building initiative, and how they defined success. Hendricks emphasizes how they managed the different expectations of what a smart building was by dividing priorities into five categories: experience, connectivity, savings, sustainability, risk, and future. CBRE created a roadmap for McKesson that will be manageable, achieve client objectives, and address future programming as well as new technologies. He highlights the need for innovative solution architecture and the gap between the roadmap and executing the required specification, the technology behind integration and commissioning, and the benefits of a fully-integrated smart building for a company like McKesson.
This AEG podcast episode features Mark Bettin, Vice President of Engineering and Sustainability at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. Mr. Bettin oversees occupant energy use and potential opportunities for savings at TheMART. He presented the Vornado property as both a pioneer in retrofitting and an ideal large scale learning opportunity in energy efficiency. He shares the actions undertaken by TheMART to respond to the reduction in the initial improvements to efficiency in recent years, due to the high-energy demand of new tenants and the ever-changing nature of buildings and metering. Mark also informs the group about a battery pilot project that has been installed and will begin operating soon to support the greater Chicago area grid and generate revenue in the region’s wholesale energy market.
This installment of the AEG podcast features Matt Thibodeau. The Vice President of Sargent & Lundy informed the group about the current trends in grid modernization from the electric power perspective. The abundance of low priced natural gas and the falling cost of renewables account for 90 percent of the 230 gigawatts of new installed capacity in the last decade, and Mr. Thibodeau shows how this evolution leads to a push towards further digitalization and modernization of the electric grid. He gives examples of their grid modernization initiatives that will lead to less frequent and shorter outages and DER integration, including storm hardening; smart switches, meters, and inverters; energy storage; and distribution automation.
This installment of the AEG podcast features Kristen Brown, Principal Business Technology Specialist of ComEd’s Utility of the Future team. She discusses how buildings can be used to increase the resiliency, reliability and safety on the distribution side of electric grid services by allowing real-time grid control through the inclusion of ancillary services like frequency regulation and distribution voltage optimization. Ms. Brown cautions that the different regulatory jurisdiction and technical requirements that exist within the grid, in addition to the varying market designs, make this task challenging. She also covers other challenges to be examined, including the cost trade-offs to utilities in building distributed assets versus bulk generation; the types of buildings and customers that can be targeted; appropriate technologies; and the significance of incentivizing upgrades and the range of services buildings can provide. Ms. Brown concludes up by commenting on a two-year study by Southern Company that seeks to test the role of homes and the microgrids to provide grid services, as an example of occupant and grid value.
In this episode of the AEG podcast, Illinois Commerce Commissioner Sadzi Matha Oliva presents the strategic path of the Illinois Commerce Commission in its grid modernization plan. She speaks about how the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA, 2017) improves their energy landscape through renewables and energy efficiency standards. This plan illustrates the importance of bringing together government, university, technology, and business stakeholders to plan the next phase of grid modernization. Ms. Oliva also describes the seven NextGrid Working Groups and two Advisory Councils that would be involved in their 18-month, consumer-focused Utility of the Future Study.
This installment of the AEG podcast features Steve Humes, Partner at Holland & Knight. Steve discusses the fate of zero-emission credits (ZECs) for nuclear power facilities. In May 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) weighed in on ZEC sources and sided with Illinois nuclear subsidies, raising questions on the scope of cooperative federalism. Mr. Humes explains that the states have the ability to take action on climate change and reduce carbon emissions through investments in clean energy and efficiency without interfering with FERC’s wholesale electricity market jurisdiction. He also briefly discusses the impact of renewable energy programs supported by ratepayer funds in Connecticut, where the state budget diverted Green Bank funds away from these programs in the face of a federal lawsuit.
This installment of the AEG Podcast features Jason Borg of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Jason reminded the CAE audience of Executive Order 13653 (2013), which mandates the Federal Government to manage risks with deliberate preparation, cooperation, and coordination to effectively improve climate preparedness and resilience. The Corps focuses on resilience through the PARA Principles: Prepare, Absorb, Recover, and Adapt.
This installment of the AEG Podcast features Rick Welton, Senior Director of Distribution Planning, Operating & Reliability for Ameren IL. Rick highlighted the rapidly changing energy generation and consumption environment and the impacts this has on energy resiliency. Ameren Illinois is investing $643 million to improve reliability of the electric distribution system., projects include: installation of two way “Smart Meters”, Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS), and Automated Switches. Additional Ameren Illinois projects have increases grid reliability by 17% and saved customers an estimated $45 million each year.
On May 16th, 2017, Chicago Advanced Energy facilitated a microgrid masterplanning workshop as part of Chicago Community Trust's annual On the Table Series in conjunction with David Robbins, Projects Administrator at the City of Chicago Department of Aviation, at the offices of Holland & Knight. This installment of the AEG Podcast features Brien Sheahan, Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, delivering an introduction to the workshop.