The Academy for Global Citizenship has begun an exciting conversation with the Galvin Electricity Initiative. Founded by former Motorola chairman and CEO Robert Galvin, the Galvin Electricity Initiative is leading a campaign to transform the way communities generate, deliver, and use electricity in the U.S. Galvin Electricity Initiative promotes a new smart grid paradigm that is consumer-focused and based on microgrids – the foundation of Perfect Power. The Microgrid Hub, Electricity Consumer Principles, and Policy Framework have become industry-leading examples of the electric revolution.
AGC’s future “Net Positive Energy” K-8 campus (and its surrounding community of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings) is a perfect prototype candidate for the Galvin Electricity Initiative’s Smart Grid and Perfect Power Systems.
The Perfect Power System features local power generation from renewable and other distributed sources, including solar panels, generators, batteries and un-used hybrid automobiles. It incorporates smart in-home devices and meters and a self-sustaining infrastructure with smart switches, which ensure reliability and efficiency.
According to Galvin Electricity Initiative, “such microgrids may encompass a building complex, a campus or an entire community, with power managed by smart controllers. Owned by a town, a third party or a utility, a microgrid can interact with dozens more, woven into a collective that increases systemic strength. Smart controls can instantly identify and isolate a fault, so that customers no longer experience power outages. With dynamic price information provided in real time, the system enables users to control power use and spending. Consumers who produce or store excess electricity – say from solar panels or an electric vehicle – can sell power back into the grid. Estimated annual savings from a smart microgrid can exceed installation costs by a factor of four to five.
Operating in concert with the bulk power grid, a network of microgrids will enable the system to efficiently re-route power and smooth out the spikes of peak demand. In turn, this reduces or eliminates the need to build more conventional plants to meet demand. Under a regulatory transformation, utility and private investment will shift from expanding the system to optimizing its performance, expediting alternative and renewable power development and creating new green job opportunities.
The campus-wide Perfect Power System at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago – the first such system built in the U.S. – is the Galvin Initiative’s flagship project. It’s the result of collaboration among the Initiative and IIT; Commonwealth Edison and its parent company Exelon; Endurant Energy, an entrepreneurial energy developer; and S&C Electric Company, which is a global provider of electric power systems. The IIT system is designed to pay for itself as it’s built, over a period of nearly five years. The U.S. Department of Energy recently joined the effort, providing $7 million to further condense the payback period while contributing to a cutting-edge prototype for nationwide grid modernization.”
AGC is thrilled with the possibility of becoming an elementary school model for the Perfect Power System. AGC is also speaking with Galvin Electricity Initiative about inclusion in the Illinois Smart Grid Cluster. Illinois Institute of Technology is leading the development of an innovation platform for Smart Grid technology that recently was awarded funds from the Small Business Administration. The Cluster will provide technical and business support to speed new Smart Grid technologies on the path to commercialization. The Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation is serving in a leadership role of the cluster, and provides technical support to companies in the innovation platform.
As the leaders of tomorrow, our students’ voices represent an essential element in this conversation, and we are honored to be in the beginning stages of a smart grid partnership with Galvin Electricity Initiative, Illinois Institute of Technology and the Department of Energy. Please stay tuned, as this dynamic relationship takes shape!
To learn more about Galvin Electricity Initiative, Perfect Power, and the Smart Grid Cluster, please visit www.galvinpower.com