Chicago Buildings Aggregate Energy Data to Participate in Better Demand Response

The Building Owners and Managers Association in Chicago (BOMA) is spearheading a smart meter pilot program, and up to 40 BOMA/Chicago member buildings in downtown Chicago will be able to participate when the pilot begins later in this year.

Ron Tabaczynski, BOMA/Chicago director of government affairs said the member organization is initiating the smart meter project so that buildings can aggregate their energy information to be able to participate in some sophisticated demand response programs through the PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization.

“Our buildings have realized the value of real-time energy management. Now, we’re looking to aggregate data and allow them to participate in demand response that they would not be able to participate in as individual buildings through PJM,” said Tabaczynski. He said some of PJM’s demand response programs require very high energy loads for participation.

To implement the program, advanced meters will be installed in all participating buildings to record electricity usage in one-second intervals. Commonwealth Edison will install the meters and related infrastructure. All the smart meters will be connected to local gateway routers, and those will be connected to network servers.

The BOMA Chicago Energy Center, an affiliate of BOMA/Chicago, signed an agreement with Automated Logic Corporation (ALC) for the company to serve as technology partner on the project. ALC technicians will install local servers that will feed each building’s usage data to a central server at the Energy Center’s network operations center.

The cost of equipping 40 buildings with the new technology and tracking their energy consumption is estimated at about $500,000, according to Chicago Business via  Tabaczynski couldn’t confirm the cost, but he did say it would be split between BOMA/Chicago and the participating buildings. BOMA has not yet named the participating buildings.

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