Organizations Among First to PEER Certify as High Performing Power Systems

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Posted: Monday, April 9, 2018 8:02 pm | Updated: 8:14 pm, Mon Apr 9, 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the energy needs of a global population continue to increase, leaders in the energy market are turning to PEER to create more resilient, reliable, sustainable and economically sound power systems.

PEER, or Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, is the world’s first certification program that measures and improves power system performance, helping to provide reliable and sustainable energy to people everywhere in the world: homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, communities, cities and utility regions.

Four new certifications have been announced and include NYU Langone Health, one of the top-ranked hospitals in the U.S.; Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in India, the first transit project in the world to achieve certification; Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters in Maryland; and the City of Glasgow, Ky.

PEER recognizes industry leaders for improving efficiency, day-to-day reliability and overall resiliency when it comes to severe events, such as flooding and hurricanes. PEER was created in collaboration with industry leaders and the support of key partners, including S&C Electric, the Galvin Foundation, IPP Connect LLC, the International District Energy Association and the Advanced Energy Group LLC. The certification program is administered by Green Business Certification Inc., the global certifying body for several sustainability systems including the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building program. Like LEED, PEER was designed to grow with the market. PEER is for all power systems and includes guidance for cities, utilities, campuses and transit. The new version of PEER delivers a simple, streamlined system to document sustainability improvements to power systems at different levels.

"It does not matter if you live in a small village in India or a major city like New York, when power systems fail, whether it is a downed power line or a natural disaster, it puts our safety and economic prosperity at risk," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the USGBC and GBCI. "Through PEER, we are recognizing industry performance and driving the adoption of strategies and practices that help improve our quality of life. With PEER we see a huge market transformation opportunity for the power sector."

The recent PEER-certified projects highlight the various ways the industry is working toward modernization goals:

  • NYU Langone Health: After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, NYU Langone rose to the challenge of becoming more resilient by implementing its vision of building a more unified campus that includes sustainable architecture, healthy interiors and energy management as key focus areas. NYU Langone has since become a leader in resilient and sustainable design, with a new combined heat and power plant, emergency generators, and boilers in the building, as well as significant campus perimeter protection and flood prevention measures.
  • DMRC: This is the first PEER-certified transit project in the world. The certification applies to its Blue Line covering 51 stations in India. More than 10 percent of the line’s non-traction load is met through onsite renewable energy and demand side management programs, such as automated controls for air conditioning, escalators and lighting loads, are allowing DMRC to effectively conserve energy.
  • Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters: Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables are developing an advanced microgrid that will improve the resilience of the county’s operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, upgrade existing aging electrical infrastructure without capital expenditure, and control energy costs for Montgomery County, Md.
  • City of Glasgow: Through its municipally owned utility, Glasgow EPB, Glasgow is using its broadband network and advanced metering to reshape electric power demand using Time of Use rates and interactive load management. Non-volumetric retail rates are allowing more stable revenue streams, which Glasgow is using to build a more robust and sustainable local electric grid.

Learning from LEED, PEER is positioned to be a similar solution for the energy sector to deliver sustainable, high performing power systems. In 2000, USGBC created LEED as a result of collaboration with the building industry at a time when there was growing demand for greener, healthier buildings, but no clear definition or path forward. Today, LEED is the world’s most widely used green building rating system with more than 93,000 registered and certified projects in 167 countries and regions.

To further demonstrate the potential of grid modernization, GBCI premiered a short film at the Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas on March 28 focusing on Hoboken, New Jersey’s efforts following the devastating effects of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. It highlights how the city and its energy partner PSE&G is using PEER to implement requisite infrastructure upgrades that address resiliency and the city’s ability to withstand system shocks, like Sandy.

Previous projects that have achieved PEER certification include the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., University of Texas at Austin and Bucknell University. Additional projects registered and pursuing certification include city of Minster, Ohio; Ft. Knox, Hackensack University Medical Center, Monash University, Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and Ascendas IT Park Chennai.

SOURCE: U.S. Green Building Council

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