Is GridSTAR a proving ground for grid divorce?

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: Penn State and other participants are talking about the Philadelphia's new GridSTAR demonstration project as a hub for testing and training. True enough. But I wonder if we'll look back in 10 years and think of it as a place that helped organizations learn how to divorce themselves from the main grid.

 

As you review the release below or  the recent story in The Energy Collective, notice that it includes an unregulated microgrid. Notice as well that the main building is net zero -- it produces as much energy as it uses, including energy for hot water. And that a main focus of the research will be energy efficiency -- that is, to look for ways to use even less energy.

 

With a little hard work, the GridSTAR Center may become net positive -- may produce more energy than it uses. When that comes, I think it becomes a lodestar for that subset of the customer base looking for self-sufficiency. - Jesse Berst

 

GridSTAR net zero energy demonstration project under way at Navy Yard

A powerful collaboration of researchers, manufacturers and economic development officials are embarking on a groundbreaking demonstration project for smart grid, net zero energy buildings called the GridSTAR Center — a Smart Energy Campus initiative at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

 

Spearheaded by Penn State with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), the GridSTAR Net Zero Energy Demonstration Structure is the first phase of the GridSTAR Center and will serve as a valuable hub for workforce training, building performance testing, energy management research and “smart” microgrid modernization deployments. Strategically located at The Navy Yard — which serves as a shining example of energy-related innovation and research — the structure is slated for completion this summer.

 

“The GridSTAR Net Zero Energy Demonstration Structure will create a live, interactive demonstration of electrical systems technologies, serve as a hub for hands-on education and training, and provide a rich infrastructure for data and research,” said David Riley, project leader and Penn State associate professor of architectural engineering. “In leveraging the talented pool of Pennsylvania-based public and private sector leaders, the GridSTAR Net Zero Energy Demonstration Structure offers tremendous potential to further drive the adoption of energy efficiency, solar energy and energy storage systems in our residential communities.”

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