WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that a team led by The Pennsylvania State University will receive up to $122 million over the next five years from the Department of Energy to establish an Energy Innovation Hub focused on developing technologies to make buildings more energy efficient. The Energy Innovation Hub will be located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Clean Energy campus, and will bring together leading researchers from academia, two U.S. National Laboratories and the private sector in an ambitious effort to develop energy efficient building designs that will save energy, cut pollution and position the United States as a leader in this industry.
“This funding is great news for the Commonwealth and is a crucial step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly America,” said Senator Casey. “With this support, the consortium can focus on energy efficiency and innovation and assist communities in reducing their energy use and creating good jobs for Pennsylvanians.”
Senator Casey sent a letter of support to DOE Secretary Steven Chu earlier this year in support of the research consortium’s application for funding.
Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption and carbon emissions. Developing systems to improve building efficiency will provide significant benefits – reducing energy use and bills, cutting pollution and creating jobs in the building efficiency industry.
The mission of this Energy Innovation Hub is to research, develop and demonstrate highly efficient building components, systems, and models which are applicable to both retrofit and new construction. The Hub team will pursue a research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program targeting technologies for single buildings and district-wide systems.
These technologies include computer simulation and design tools to enable integrated project teams of architects, engineers, contractors and building operators to work collaboratively on retrofit, renovation and new building design projects; advanced combined heat and power (CHP) systems; building-integrated photovoltaic systems for energy generation; advanced HVAC systems with integrated indoor air quality management; and sensor and control networks to monitor building conditions and optimize energy use. The RD&D program will also incorporate a systematic analysis of the role of policy, markets and behavior in driving the adoption and use of energy technologies in buildings.
The team, led by Dr. Henry C. Foley, will use the Navy Yard campus, which has over 200 buildings and operates an independent electric microgrid as a “virtual municipality” to test and validate the technologies developed by the RD&D program in real buildings.
The Energy Innovation Hub will be funded by the Department of Energy at up to $22 million this fiscal year. The Hub will then be funded at an estimated $25 million per year for the next four years, subject to Congressional appropriations.