This episode of the AEG Podcast features an interview with Ted Trabue, Managing Director at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU). The DCSEU has a budget of $20 million. As a contractor to the DC government, they use this substantial budget to help DC residents, other utilities, and businesses cut down on their energy use, save money and install renewable energy systems. He talks about his leadership role in the company, as well as the challenges and opportunities that the DC is facing in relation to grid modernization and energy efficiency. As a part of this unique, multifaceted organization, he gives us an expert perspective into how the DCSEU incorporates job creation and other important social concerns into their work. Mr. Trabue also talks about his experience and the important lessons he learned at the AEG’s Washington DC Stakeholder breakfast.
This installment of the AEG Podcast features Aaron Ordower of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, who spoke about the office’s 80x50 goals. He emphasized the importance of a citywide reduction in building emissions – 90% of existing buildings today will be part of the building stock in 2050 – and outlined three main strategies to accelerate: renewable energy developments throughout the grid, energy retrofitting in existing buildings, and the establishment of distributed solar generation in communities. He also discussed policies aimed at improving energy efficiency, then briefly spoke about why the high costs and long payoff periods were justified.
Gregg Fischer, Director of Energy Systems at Tishman Speyer, talked about the important role thermal storage technology plays in managing 25 million square feet of the firm’s NYC real estate portfolio. He focused on Rockefeller Center in this installment of the AEG podcast, and efforts to retrofit landmark facilities with energy-saving technologies. The property was one of the earliest adopters of the now rapidly expanding thermal storage technology, which reduced electricity demand during peak periods and reduced operating costs. Mr. Fischer concluded by pointing out incentives can reduce investment payback periods from seven to thirteen years.
This installment of the AEG Podcast features Frank Norcross, Vice-President of Hudson Yards Energy. Frank opened his presentation by describing Hudson Yards Energy’s cogeneration plant on Manhattan’s west side. The plant serves as a microgrid within a district energy system. Mr. Norcross emphasized the need to reform the dynamics of the energy markets, as well as address the one-way power flow in the aged grid and the need to design and finance more holistic energy models. He also suggested that current regulation requires better and stronger collaboration to capitalize on the linkages in markets, underlying factors like the importance of interaction with grid operators including ConEdison, and the need for discussion around information technology and means of optimizing generation plants.
In this episode of the AEG podcast, we held a discussion with Damian Sciano, Con Edison’s Director of Distributed Resource Integration. He focused on the enabling role of grid modernization in the evolution of the existing energy system. He talked about Con Edison’s efforts to increase transparency and cross-sectoral collaboration to move from a single-value platform to a multi-value one – delivering a wide variety of services to build greater consumer involvement. Delving into the technicalities that make the company’s task of servicing New York City challenging, Mr. Sciano shared how ConEd's remote monitoring system is one of many that incorporate granular data collection, consumer engagement, and transaction improvements. He provided a glimpse into the future of grid modernization and architecture in responding to consumers’ changing expectations.
In this edition of the AEG podcast, Janet Martin, Director of Network Transformation at Verizon, presented her company’s new project for swapping copper wires for fiber optics throughout New York City. This was part of push for continued network improvement to contribute to grid modernization and power savings – copper wires have become uneconomical. She talked about the challenging task of installing fiber optics that are robust and sustainable. Janet discussed smart city opportunities with the public and private sector, substantial energy savings, the regulatory environment, and an increasing customer demand. With the goal of replacing 1 million copper wires, Verizon has laid out a comprehensive plan and its success requires working closely with building owners.
John Rice, a Partner at the AKF Group, summarized their process behind the creation of an Energy Master Plan for a major university. He outlined the energy generation models they considered for replacing a university’s central energy plant to create a modern and smart campus grid and demonstrate what could be done in an urban sprawl setting. A wide variety of options were explored, including absorption chillers, steam turbines, decentralized resources, thermal ice storage, batteries, and renewable energy technologies. After considering Annual Load Profile analysis and their experience with Hurricane Sandy, AKF’s final product was a co-generation plant that provides increased resiliency for the campus. This a process that they have replicated in several other campuses.
In this installment of the AEG Podcast, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson shares her insightful perspective on the Commonwealth’s goal of achieving a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future. She talked about the value of energy efficiency in being cost-effective while also reducing emissions consumers’ bills. She gives numbers to illustrate the the high success of their efficiency programs, citing the Green Communities Program and their many Solar Incentives and Programs. Judson suggests that efficiency and clean technologies are low-hanging fruit for energy efficiency and that the State’s next major opportunities lay in: reducing peak loads through demand response management, reducing gas consumption by fuel switching, setting higher standards and building codes for ubiquitous LED lighting and ‘EV Readiness,’ financing of solar deployment, the mass implementation of energy storage technology, and the maximization of existing infrastructure.
In this podcast episode, ENGIE Project Director Joe Dalton talks about ENGIE’s recently acquired Medical Area Total Energy Plant (MATEP LLC/Longwood Medical) and how he manages a microgrid energy system for multiple healthcare facilities within Boston. His insights on critical energy redundancy for these health and research facilities are tied to a decarbonized, decentralized, and digitalized ENGIE strategy. Mr. Dalton also shares how these operations are just one driver in the region’s growing innovation economy and how collaboration and customer engagement is essential in the development of smart grids and building retrofitting. He ends with the possibility of replicating the effect of the “3D” strategy.
In this installment of the AEG podcast, Dennis Villanueva shares his expertise on advanced energy systems for healthcare building operations as the Senior Manager of Energy & Sustainability at Partners HealthCare. As the largest healthcare organization in the East Coast, Partners established a sustainable initiative with the goal of supporting its system to optimize patient care and employee support. Major climate and weather disruption threaten the regular service of their facilities and contribute to the likelihood of increased patient load during these extreme events; such instances increase the need for resiliency, due to critical necessity and the importance of reducing costs to provide more affordable healthcare. Villanueva reported on the success of their Strategic Energy Master Plan in reducing their energy consumption by 25 percent, moving towards more renewable energy generation, and increasing their facilities’ resiliency by switching to onsite cogeneration. He also presents the costs related to upgrading their energy system, then closes with an update of their sustainability goals, plans and partners for the future.
Jim Hunt is the Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs & Chief Communications Officer at Eversource Energy, the largest utility in New England, servicing water, gas and electricity in three large states and committed to working with the state and its communities for the reduction of carbon emissions and the ensured reliability and resiliency of the grid. In this podcast, Hunt highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in the energy transition and the ways in which this model optimizes grid modernization and energy efficiency efforts and investments for the company. Hunt offers insight into the importance of leveraging their unique customer relations in implementing demand response programs, distributed energy storage and EV charging networks. He says that such efforts are essential in addressing the challenges of peak demand and fossil fuel reliance, increasing the deployment of renewables and smart technology, and reducing costs in the system.
Chris Parent, Director of Market Development at ISO New England, presents the ISO’s recent work on the integration of demand response into the wholesale market in this episode of the AEG podcast. He highlights the ways in which markets are reflecting actions for energy efficiency and active demand response, as well as how behind-the-meter programs can address energy demand and reduce peaks. He explains that aggregation will enable distributed generation and storage technologies to participate more fully and economically in both wholesale and capacity markets. Parent closes with how FERC’s Order 841 influenced the NE ISO’s new and robust model to utilize and access battery storage and coordination with utilities within the region, and how well-developed requirements following the Commission’s open docket on distributed energy resources could move the ISO towards a more decentralized model.
This installment of the AEG podcast features Jill Brosig, the Senior Vice President of Harrison Street Real Estate. She presents the private investment management firm’s holistic approach to rating and ranking building performance in today’s electrified world. Ms. Brosig divided the standards of best building practices into categories —energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience — and emphasized the importance of creating metrics to define the success of programs. She talks about transparency in communicating and understanding beneficiaries’ needs for smart buildings, giving anecdotes from her work in improving senior housing.