Commissioning for the Future: Demand Response, Microgrid Cx & PEER Certification

Commissioning is on the cusp of evolution beyond the single-building perspective, and expanding into commissioning a broader infrastructure where resilience, reliability, efficiency and performance form the basis for “smart cities” and sustainable portfolios. Read on to learn more about electrical ecosystems that will incorporate microgrids, district energy, demand response and other features into community and even larger-scale needs for performance verification, i.e., commissioning.

As part of the Demand Response Partnership Program, USGBC and the Environmental Defense Fund worked with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to study the environmental and load impacts of demand response in the Southern California Edison (SCE) service territory. This program was designed to quantify building-by-building load shed and investigate market issues such as a shift to cleaner energy sources, rising demand, increasing amounts of data, and a desire for customers to contribute to sustainability goals.

A certification program developed by USGBC, Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) program. provides an independent standard for benchmarking, designing, planning, and performance verification. PEER is a third-party rating program for sustainable power system performance in city-scale projects, campus projects and locally-generated power supply projects. As with the USGBC LEED rating system for individual buildings, the program is composed of prerequisites plus core and bonus points. Both programs are administered on behalf of USGBC by Green Business Certification, Inc.

IPP Connect, a founding PEER partner, sponsor and expert in the application of PEER, is proposing a phased approach that enables the systematic application of PEER to meet specific needs: energy assessment, microgrid design and development, substation energy analysis for managing loads, and ultimately PEER certification. IPP Connect is offering to assist with developing concept designs and making the business case for a utility microgrid with district energy for a targeted new development.  This includes using the PEER standard create a performance scorecard, create a sustainable concept design, and make the business case by estimating the value compared to the business as usual case.

What’s in it for commissioning providers? The shift to more decentralized power generation reduces, to an unknown extent, the onus on electric utilities to verify systems that produce and control transmission of electricity. Stakeholders, ranging from utilities to consumers, will increasingly participate in electrical ecosystems that incorporate digital data analytics, controls and visually-augmented management ( of distributed/renewable energy resources, energy storage, district energy systems, demand response, load balancing and other features into community-wide systems – all with system (and probably significant code) requirements for new and ongoing performance verification.

NCBC is pleased to present the session, “Commissioning for the Future: Demand Response, Microgrid Cx & PEER Certification.” MaryAnn Piette (Director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division and Director of the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Wayne Dunn, (commissioning provider for projects ranging from NASA life science and virus labs to space launch complexes), join forces to present recent research and case studies, provide a glimpse into the future, and share ideas that help answer questions such as these:

  • What does the next-generation electric grid system look like?
  • How does a rating system like PEER work, and how will it affect commissioning providers?
  • What additional skill sets might be necessary to make the leap from commissioning building systems and assemblies to integrated large-scale, multi-facility applications?

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