Dominion partners with university on microgrid project

Richmond, Va., March 29, 2012 — Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth University will partner to use the VCU School of Engineering's West Hall as a five-year test site for efficient energy technologies and research as a microgrid project.

VCU and Dominion signed an agreement that calls for the use of Dominion experts, VCU engineering faculty and Facilities Management personnel and third-party products and services to gather and share power-consumption data.

The project will make continuous, real-time energy adjustments to the building, lights and equipment to save energy and lower costs. It is expected to reduce energy costs by $20,000, or 4 percent, annually.

VCU and Dominion, through its Alternative Energy Solutions group, will split the $500,000 cost of the project, which includes the installation of hardware, control systems and solar panels to enable both parties to gather voltage data and analyze energy volume, timing, noise and cleanliness, as well as establish energy usage trends and equipment performance.

VCU's Facilities Management staff will install 230 portable voltage monitors from Dominion's technology partners to manage electrical usage and reduce peak power consumption. EDGE technology, a product developed by Dominion, will be installed to capture energy and demand savings while the other technologies will predict power consumption and power reduction potential, send notifications prior to peak events and control and verify power reduction.

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