PEER Perspective: The White House, renewables and the grid

Published on: 
22 Jun 2016
Author: 
Kunal Gulati

This past week, USGBC was an invited participant in the White House Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets. The summit convened leading state, utility and private-sector stakeholders to highlight progress and commitments to promote a flexible, efficient, clean and reliable 21st century power grid. PEER is among the tools to drive this needed transformation.

Participants—including leading grid operators; power companies; investors; community organizations; and federal, state and local governments—unveiled new commitments to deploy new technologies, launch pilot projects, form partnerships, set procurement targets and identify other real-world solutions.

The White House fact sheet released in conjunction with the summit details all of these commitments from such diverse organizations as the California Public Utilities Commission, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Con Edison, Duke Energy, Green Button Alliance, Green Mountain Power, Indianapolis Power and Light Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NextEra Energy’s Florida Power and Light, Pacific Gas and Electric, Portland General Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison. 

Each of these actions contributes to the common aim of transforming our nation’s electric grids. Among the many significant targets, the federal government committed to increasing storage and microgrid capacity to make military bases more resilient, investors announced $130 million in new funding commitments for energy storage and power companies and developers committed to deploying smart meters and demand response programs. Of interest to our members, the U.S. General Services Administration announced it will issue a Request for Information about building-level energy storage to help propel promising technologies.

USGBC and its sister organization GBCI, in partnership with Urban Ingenuity, announced a public-private convening on July 11 to support the District of Columbia’s efforts to encourage microgrid development. GBCI and the National Association of State Energy Offices committed to co-sponsoring at least two regional webinars in 2016 to engage utility and state stakeholders on smart grid development using PEER—the first-ever rating system for power system performance—to advance innovative, more flexible and more affordable grids.

PEER presents a forward-looking tool for utilities and microgrid operators to engage in a dynamic, adaptive process to understand system performance. PEER can serve as a resource for the deployment of other organizations’ commitments, with the ultimate aim of more sustainable and resilient power systems.

Read the White House fact sheet