First phase of IIT ‘perfect power’ project completed


Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 25, 2010 – The first phase of a “perfect power” project at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) comprising smart microgrids featuring a high reliability distribution system (HRDS) loop design and redundant electricity is now complete.

The project, which is being developed by Galvin Electricity Initiative, S&C Electric Company, and Intelligent Power Solutions, LLC, will allow IIT to eliminate costly outages, minimize power disturbances, moderate an ever growing demand, and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Part of a five-year project, the completion of phase one means that the first high reliability distribution loop, serving Hermann Hall, Alumni Hall, Perlstein Hall, Wishnick Hall and Siegel Hall on IIT’s Main Campus, is in operation, as is the automation of the university’s north substation. The buildings included in the first phase now have automatic fault detection and distribution information that will allow for greatly improved electricity reliability.

The automation of the south substation, and the installation of the high reliability distribution loops that serve other campus buildings, will be completed in the next four years of the project.

Distribution systems, such as the HRDS, are critical in enabling many of the goals of the perfect power project and policymakers in general, such as reduction in greenhouse gases through integration of renewable energy sources and increased reliability.

The IIT project is the result of an uncommon partnership among the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), local utility Exelon/ComEd, the entrepreneurial electricity distribution developer Intelligent Power Solutions, the Chicago-based global provider of electric power delivery solutions for the intelligent grid, S&C Electric Company, and the Galvin Electricity Initiative.

The perfect power system is based on a smart microgrid – a small, local, modernized version of the electricity grid that carries bulk power across the country. These microgrids focus on rapidly bringing the economic and environmental benefits of modern grid technology to consumers. They engage entrepreneurial innovators and investors to install the smart digital technology that allows the instantaneous, two-way flow of electricity and real-time pricing and demand information between utilities and consumers.

Projections indicate that the perfect power model at IIT will pay for itself within five years following its completion, generating savings amounting to at least $10 million over 10 years. Following the short payback period, the university will generate money from perfect power through more affordable power costs, such as grid infrastructure improvements, allowing it to purchase electricity based on real time prices rather than the traditional contracted average. IIT will also be able to sell electricity back to local energy markets and employ more efficient energy conservation efforts by integrating local power generation from clean sources, including solar.