Chicago Piloting Korean Smart Grid Tech

A dozen office buildings in downtown Chicago will be getting a smart grid infrastructure boost via Korean tech, according to a recent release. The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Smart Grid Association and two of South Korea’s largest energy and technology companies, KT Corporation and LG Electronics, to develop a commercial smart grid pilot program that will pioneer the construction of a virtual generator using buildings as electric grid resources.

This pilot program is part of a larger umbrella effort between BOMA/Chicago, the Korean Smart Grid Association, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) to promote smart grid deployments at both commercial and residential buildings in Chicago. Buildings will be selected based on preliminary assessments of prospective candidates’ energy management systems, HVAC equipment, supply contract terms, ownership and tenant needs and other factors. Once the pilot buildings are selected, more extensive technical assessments will follow, and shortly thereafter, retrofit work and system programming aimed at enable participating buildings to manage their electricity consumption more effectively and to monetize the resulting cost savings and demand response program revenues.

BOMA_Chicago

image via BOMA/Chicago

Through the use of smart grid technologies, such as smart meters, variable speed drives and digital controls, building managers will develop more detailed operational control of their energy systems. This, in turn, will enable them to curtail or reschedule energy usage in ways that will save energy and cash without adversely impacting tenant comfort. The goal of the program is to conduct initial transactions by the end of the year and to have the fully functional by the summer of 2011.

“BOMA/Chicago’s collaboration with the Korean Smart Grid Association and the ISTC further advances Chicago’s position as a global smart grid leader,” said Michael Cornicelli, executive vice president of BOMA/Chicago, in a statement. “We’re excited to leverage the expertise and resources of our program partners to create the first commercial smart grid pilot in the United States, and set in motion the construction of a clean, virtual generator in downtown Chicago.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.