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Clean Energy and Transactive Campus


Pioneering regional partnership for grid modernization

Vast opportunities for improved reliability, consumer benefits, and energy efficiency exist at the buildings-to-grid nexus. Realizing those benefits, however, requires research, development, and demonstration of transactive controls for energy management. To achieve this, we are leading a three-site project that connects us with Washington State University and the University of Washington.

This is the first time researchers will test the use of demand-side transactive controls ("behind the meter") at this scale, involving multiple buildings and devices. This is a key step forward in achieving a more modern, efficient, and reliable power grid. Primary activities at each campus include:

  • PNNL: multi-campus network operations; transactive campus/building response applications; transactive/advanced buildings controls testbed
  • WSU: microgrids as a resilience resource/smart city; solar and battery in microgrid operations; flexible loads, thermal storage
  • UW: energy efficiency applications, leveraging transactive network; smart solar inverter integration with distribution; transactive grid controls

Launched in late October 2015, project experiments started in January 2016 and continue into 2017. This is the first of several regional partnerships awarded under DOE's Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, and is jointly funded ($4.5 million total) by the DOE and Washington State's Clean Energy Fund.

Knowledge gained from this activity informs responsive load management, energy conservation, and future grid modernization decision-making, regionally and nationally.


As of February 2017, the first phase of this project was largely completed.

  • Conducted four transactive energy experiments in multiple PNNL buildings; associated User Guides in development to allow replication of the experiments
  • Installed solar technologies at UW and WSU, and a battery system at UW
  • Developed strategies to coordinate the use of solar and energy storage assets to meet CETC and individual partner objectives
  • Completed initial steps to establish a network connecting all participating organizations and enable more realistic testing.

In 2017, Phase 2 of the project includes three new Ohio partners—Case Western Reserve University, the University of Toledo and the NASA Glenn Research Center. Along with PNNL, UW and WSU, the Ohio partners will expand upon the experiments and activities of the first phase.


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