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New PEER Power System Certifications Show Program's Breadth

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, DC, announced four power system projects that are among the first to achieve certification under its Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) program. PEER was created to measure and improve power system performance with a goal of encouraging more resilient, reliable, sustainable and economically sound power systems.

The PEER certification program can be applied to homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, communities, cities and utility regions. The four new certifications give a sense of the program’s breadth and global scope, ranging from a hospital to a transit project to a police headquarters to a city.

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 (CHP) plant, emergency generators, and boilers in the building, as well as significant campus perimeter protection and flood prevention measures.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation: 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, KY: 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.

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

“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.”

Previous projects that have achieved PEER certification include the City of Chattanooga, Tenn., University of Texas at Austin and Bucknell University.

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