GBCI and IDEA Commit to Enhanced Collaboration on Microgrids, District Energy and CHP

Marisa Long

World’s leading green credentialing body and industry association collaborate to increase deployment of cleaner, resilient energy grids for more sustainable cities, communities and campuses

Austin, TX—(Feb. 10, 2016)—Today, GBCI and the International District Energy Association (IDEA) announced a collaboration to work together and promote more sustainable, efficient and resilient electricity and thermal grids through the PEER program. The announcement was made at the 29th Annual IDEA Campus Energy Conference, with more than 850 people in attendance.

Administered by GBCI, the PEER program is a comprehensive framework for defining, assessing and verifying the overall sustainable performance of electricity delivery system design and operations. The standards enable project teams to assess their current state, develop strategies for improvement, advance the business case and verify the value of system changes. PEER is also the driving force behind USGBC's vision to transform power systems and the nation’s first comprehensive, data-driven approach to evaluating and improving power system performance.

“GBCI and IDEA share the same goals of optimizing energy efficiency and providing safe and reliable energy resources,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operating officer, USGBC and president, GBCI. “Collaborating with IDEA will enable us to develop standards for defining sustainable energy delivery and to expand the PEER program into new markets.”

“IDEA is pleased to support greater uptake and deployment of PEER by our member systems, especially those exemplary campuses, like University of Texas—Austin, that feature highly efficient and resilient district energy/combined heat and power systems,” said Rob Thornton, president and CEO of IDEA. “Electricity and energy markets are undergoing a fundamental shift to more distributed power generation away from large, remote, inefficient central station generating facilities. PEER will help electricity providers evaluate, optimize and accelerate that transition to a cleaner, more reliable energy supply.”

IDEA is a 107-year-old nonprofit industry association representing the interests of nearly 2,100 members around the globe who own, operate and optimize district energy networks, combined heat and power (CHP) systems and microgrids. GBCI, the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally, exclusively administers project certifications and professional credentials and certificates within the framework of USGBC’s LEED green building rating system.

Considering the impacts and growing frequency of severe weather events, resiliency and energy efficiency have become important considerations in infrastructure development. District energy systems are emerging as a key element for climate change mitigation and adaptation. This agreement is intended to bring a stronger focus to more sustainable and improved economic and environmental performance by electricity grids and district energy systems in communities across North America.

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