USGBC and GBCI have been working tirelessly to drive environmental, economic and social transformation in buildings and beyond. A key part of this work is advancing reliability and resilience strategies in power and electrical systems. We envision the next generation of green building will implement and operate a wide range of distributed energy resources and microgrids that will make buildings more valuable resources to our power grids. PEER, or Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, is a certification program that provides a roadmap for designing and operating resilient reliable power systems and microgrids. Currently, there are more than 30 PEER certified projects, serving more than seven million people.
Since PEER’s initial inception, rapid improvements in energy storage, electronics, communications and microgrids have been complemented by decreasing costs of digital controls, energy storage and renewables. At the same time, natural disasters and climate change have highlighted the need for more resilience and reliability in the power grid. Throughout 2020, GBCI worked with a variety of energy stakeholders to gather data, strategies and clarifications to ensure that PEER continues to transform the power sector as LEED transformed the building sector, bringing greater resilience and reliability to the projects it impacts.
The results of this hard work have been compiled into in a 2020 Stakeholder report, offering clarifications and innovation strategies to the existing program, ensuring that the program delivers the most up to date and relevant information for users in an already tumultuous year. This includes the PEER Safety First Pilot Credits, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help power systems navigate safety protocols during re-occupancy and the restarting of equipment.
Through PEER’s vision of a sustainable electrical infrastructure and the clarifications and additions found in the Stakeholder report, PEER is helping lay the foundation for a clean energy future – one that focuses on sustainable, consistent, and efficient power generation and distribution. As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its accompanying social and environmental emergencies, power disruptions have underscored the importance of renewable energy generation. PEER offers strategies for alternatives that can prevent and prepare communities for the worst-case scenario in cost-effective ways, such as microgrids and local electricity generation. Only through consistent, clean power can communities be truly resilient.
PEER, and the PEER Stakeholder report, are a key component of USGBC and GBCI’s expanded resilience offerings, announced in September 2020. These resilience offerings are part of USGBC’s reimagined vision and economic recovery strategy, Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy. Resilience is a critical component of building a healthier, more sustainable future, but can also influence how companies and governments respond to social and economic disruptions. Resilience planning helps future proof assets and support communities in times of crisis.
PEER’s focus on resilience and power reliability aims to improve global grid modernization efforts and to inspire, influence and enable the energy sector to truly build a real 21st century infrastructure. Only through access to consistent, sustainable sources of power for everyone can we build a truly equitable, resilient world.