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Developing a Potential Smart Grid and Demand Response Component of the Oregon Convention Center’s Strategic Energy Plan

Erin Rowland, an alumnus of PSU's first (2009) Designing the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities class, was recently hired as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Oregon Convention Center (OCC). She is interested in the possibility of working with a student team to develop a smart grid and demand response component of their overall Strategic Energy Management Plan.

The OCC has entered into an agreement with the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) to develop a Strategic Energy Management Plan. This process includes: developing an energy efficiency policy for the OCC, setting energy reduction targets, implementing various actions from an act list created for OCC from an ETO energy audit, creating a ‘energy’ team (along the lines of a green team), receiving onsite support from ETO in identifying efficiency measures, and more.

OCC is also working on various Retro-Commissioning projects, focused on lighting upgrades, BAS, and more. They have an ongoing contract with Glumac Engineering to identify opportunities and support various projects.  OCC is in the middle of the “performance period” for their LEED EBOM re-certification. They hope to achieve Gold status. They are also vetting proposals for a new roof (phase 1), which includes looking into the feasibility options of adding a solar and/or eco-roof. Finally, they have developed a partnership with the Rose Quarter and Memorial Coliseum to develop a shared thermal energy project.

The Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) is able to make recommendations on the energy efficiency and renewable energy components of the OCC’s Strategic Energy Plan, but not on the demand response storage and related components of the plan.  Fortunately, Kathleen Belkhayat, the Energy Trust of Oregon’s project manager for the OCC Strategic Energy Plan, was a participant in the winter term component of this course and has offered to serve as an advisor to the student team working on this effort.  This will help to ensure that the recommendations from the student team is consistent with and build upon those that come from ETO, their subcontractors, and other parties.   The role of the student team would be to examine what role the smart grid, demand response, and related technologies and approaches might play in supporting and advancing other efforts.  They could also offer new opportunities that are not yet being considered by other planning efforts. Other potential advisors for this project include Erin Rowland, and the OCC facilities manager.  They will also be the clients for this student team.