Edo Awarded DOE Connected Communities Program Funding
Edo team awarded $6.65 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Connected Communities program with Avista, McKinstry, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Urbanova.
SEATTLE (Oct. 13, 2021) – Edo, an emerging leader in building-to-grid integration and utility decarbonization at scale, was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for $6.65 million in funding to deliver a grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) community demonstration project in Spokane, Wash., as part of the agency’s competitive Connected Communities program. The demonstration project will be developed and delivered in partnership with Avista, McKinstry, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Urbanova. In addition to the $6.65 million DOE grant, Avista and the other project partners will invest another $4.9 million in matching funds, for a total project cost of $11.55 million.
The Edo Connected Communities project in Spokane will demonstrate a novel model to meet regional and local grid needs through a mix of GEBs, energy efficiency programs and distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery storage. The program will focus beyond how much energy is used to include when the energy is used and how to better utilize the existing grid, in an attempt to defer major capital investments and make energy more affordable. The lessons learned from the demonstration project will be published in a playbook to help other communities scale up and replicate the project design.
The Edo-led team will build the project using concepts and best practices learned from the successful South Landing development and Spokane EcoDistrict. The groundbreaking project demonstrates zero-carbon and zero-energy building operations backed by an all-electric, grid-integrated EcoDistrict that communicates and balances building and utility grid needs. Edo operates the Spokane EcoDistrict, which was developed as a partnership between McKinstry and Avista.
“Edo was created to modernize how our built environment generates, distributes and consumes energy by bridging communication across the meter and creating truly grid-integrated buildings,” said Hendrik Van Hemert, Edo Managing Director. “The Connected Communities project will build upon our success with South Landing and the Spokane EcoDistrict, bringing grid-interactive efficient buildings and neighborhood-scale shared energy systems one step closer to being a new standard for communities across the country.”
The Edo Connected Communities project aims to unlock between 1 to 2.25 MW in energy demand flexibility using flexible building loads augmented by DERs. Energy efficiency measures will be deployed across small and large commercial operational improvements and through retrofits for homes and small commercial buildings to realize potential energy savings of 440 to 900 MWh annually and annual emissions reductions between 320,000 to 650,000 pounds carbon dioxide equivalent. Participant recruitment will focus on equity across demographics, including highly impacted and vulnerable populations in Spokane’s Opportunity Zones.
“Avista has a long history of innovation with a proven track record for deploying smart grid technologies and grid modernization efforts,” said Heather Rosentrater, Avista Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery and Shared Services. “In order to achieve the clean energy future that we all want, we must continue to innovate. The Edo Connected Communities project will allow us to test new solutions that will improve resiliency, make the best use of the existing grid, and delay costly construction to meet energy demand. Ultimately, this will help us deliver clean, reliable energy, at the most affordable cost for all of us.”
“Spokane has created a tremendous energy innovation hub and presents an ideal opportunity for the Edo Connected Communities project to build on the success of past smart grid and smart city demonstrations as well as the Spokane EcoDistrict at South Landing,” said Ash Awad, McKinstry President and Chief Market Officer. “Working together, the Edo-led team will show how collaborative innovation can deliver climate solutions, cost savings and resilience to benefit our cities and communities.”
A recent DOE study estimates that by 2030, grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) could save up to $18 billion per year in power system costs and cut 880 million tons of carbon emissions each year, which is more than the annual emissions of 50 medium-sized coal plants or 17 million cars.
“Connected Communities represent a new approach for how commercial and residential buildings should integrate with modern utility grids,” said Dennis Stiles, PNNL Building Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sector Program Manager. “We are excited about what the Edo Connected Community project could mean long term for grid efficiency and resiliency and look forward to collaborating with the project team.”
“All of the best smart grid technology in the world is of little value if it doesn’t significantly improve the equity and resilience of the most highly impacted and vulnerable communities served by utilities,” said Kim Zentz, Urbanova CEO. “This is the right team with the right priorities to harness technology to achieve measurably improved outcomes for fragile and at-risk communities experiencing the disparities of the current business models. We will ensure that the benefits of the transition to clean energy are shared by all.”
The Connected Communities program funds projects that will demonstrate how groups of buildings combined with other types of DERs, such as electric vehicle (EV) charging and photovoltaic (PV) generation, can reliably and cost effectively serve as grid assets by strategically deploying efficiency and demand flexibility. The program is a collaborative effort from three DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) offices (Solar Energy Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office and Building Technologies Office) and the DOE Office of Electricity (OE).
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Edo exists to enable building-to-grid integration and decarbonization of the grid. The company was formed as a partnership between two seasoned utility and built environment leaders: Avista and McKinstry. A combined 200 years of utility and built environment experience inspired our unique ability to drive building-to-grid integration and transform grid operations. We provide the tools and services needed to enable the transformation of how buildings consume, produce, and share energy. The Edosystem benefits clients on all sides of the building-to-grid integrated ecosystem, combining the playbooks, support services, and technology stack needed to wrap around the meter and turn it into a synchronized and optimized system that benefits both up and downstream.