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Making Buildings Part of the Smart Grid Solution

by Christine Hertzog, reposted from theenergycollective.com

A very important conference occurred in Portland, Oregon last week – the Gridwise Architecture Council hosted the first international Transactive Energy Conference.  The topic of transactive energy is so new that there’s no formal definition yet, but as the author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, here’s my suggestion.  Transactive energy is a software-defined, low-voltage distribution grid that enables market participation by distributed energy resources (DER) bidding generation of negawatts or kilowatts.  Transactive energy describes the convergence of technologies, policies, and financial drivers in an active prosumer market – where prosumers are buildings, EVs, microgrids, or other assets.

Transactive energy will play a critical defining role in grid modernization and shaping the Smart Grid.  Buildings, as noted in last week’s article consume 40% of the nation’s energy.  And while building owners can justify purchase decisions on energy savings as well as sustainability values, there’s another crucial factor for building owners to invest in technologies that reduce energy use and deliver self-generation.  That reason is to address the increasing vulnerability of the electrical grid to momentary and sustained power outages to both natural and human causes.

Buildings and their occupants are impacted by grid-related power outages.  The negative impacts range from reduced work productivity and decreased occupant safety and health to reductions in lifestyle standards.  Just like real estate values are higher for green buildings with LEED recognition, in the future, buildings that are grid-hardened may command premium prices because they preserve delivery of services regardless of grid status.  It is a compelling new variable in value propositions for tenants and occupants.

Read more at theenergycollective.com.

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