A downtown Chicago smart grid program that would provide real-time energy usage data to office building managers and their engineers took a major step forward with the signing of a contract between the BOMA Chicago Energy Center LLC, an affiliate of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, and technology partner Automated Logic Corp.
Under the program, up to 40 BOMA/Chicago member buildings will participate in a smart grid pilot program that starts later in 2013. The goal of the program is to provide buildings with granular, real-time energy usage data that will better enable them to implement energy efficiency measures and reduce their energy and operational costs.
The program will also compile and aggregate the building participants’ energy usage data through a network operating center that will enable their participation in demand response programs that compensate them for curtailing their electricity usage when demand on the grid is high – in effect creating a “virtual green generator.”
“The agreement BOMA/Chicago finalized with Automated Logic Corp. will advance this pilot program and give us the knowledge we need to open the concept to all of our building members in the future, so that all of our member buildings can access and control their own energy information,” said Michael Cornicelli, BOMA/Chicago executive vice president. “This is the first program of its kind anywhere. We will be learning and evaluating the program as more participating buildings come on line, and we have high hopes for its potential.”
In order to implement the program, advanced meters will be installed in all participating buildings that will record electricity usage in one-second intervals, providing much more detailed information than current standard meters. ALC technicians from its Chicago office will then install local servers that will feed each building’s usage data to a central server at the Energy Center’s network operation center. Participants will be able to access their own usage data through Internet connections and see it displayed on ALC’s dashboard. The central collection of that data will enable aggregated demand response transactions that were not previously available to most buildings.
“The Smart Grid Initiative proposed by BOMA/Chicago is truly the first program of its kind in the nation,” said Paul Chismudy, general manager of the ALC Chicago office. “Automated Logic Corp. has the technology, resources and experience to make sure the initiative is fully realized during this pilot phase – and is positioned to expand to an even larger group of properties in the future.”
BOMA/Chicago plans to offer the Smart Grid Initiative to its member buildings starting in March. Beta test sites are being selected and equipped now and smart meter installations are expected to begin in second quarter 2013.