The General Services Administration (GSA) has issued a request for information (RFI) for grid-interactive technologies and services that provide energy savings and load flexibility for buildings.
The RFI, issued in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), is part of the Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) research being done at the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The GSA manages a portfolio 8,700 government owned or leased buildings.
The GEB program aims to use internet connectivity to save energy for both commercial and residential buildings, as well as make the buildings more responsive to electric grid conditions thereby enhancing the reliability of the entire grid.
Buildings consume about 75% of all electricity in the United States and are a key driver of the peak generating capacity required by utilities, according to the DOE.
Electrical loads in many buildings could be operated more flexibly and, through advanced controls, could be managed to operate at specific times and at different output levels.
What grid interactive technologies offer
Both the GSA and the DOE view that as an opportunity for new technologies that can provide continuous demand management that solutions to peak demand issues, which will become increasingly valued by utilities over the next decade to provide grid stability.
Grid interactive water heaters, for example, can sense when to turn on or off in order to reduce power when the grid reaches peak demand or can shift power consumption to times when the utility system has excess capacity.
Grid interactive technoloies also can integrate energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage and save energy and costs without affecting comfort or productivity, according to the DOE.
The responses to the RFI must include at least three of the following energy saving and demand flexibility attributes: energy efficiency, load shedding, load shifting, or modulation of electrical load at the sub-second to seconds level.
The GSA and DOE also strongly encourage applicants to partner with different organizations, scientific disciplines and technology sectors to form interdisciplinary and cross-sector teams when submitting their responses to the RFI.
Responses will be evaluated and considered for inclusion in the GSA’s Proving Ground (GPG) program for federal facilities, the DOE High Impact Technology Innovation Catalyst (HIT Catalyst) program for privately owned facilities, or both.
The submitted information will be used to develop test bed projects for medium and large commercial buildings that prove grid-interactive capabilities in a replicable way. Applicants can submit responses for one or more test bed locations or can recommend their own commercial building to host a test bed.
The GSA does not intend to award a contract on the basis of the solicitation or pay for the information solicited. The solicitation is being issued to gather information on new sustainable building technologies. The RFI closes on Dec. 2, 2019.
More details about the request are available here.
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