BACnet rolls out new Certification program

The BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) Certification Program was formed by the merger of the BTL Listing and WSPCert Certificate programs. It provides companies with a Certificate of Conformance, a BTL Listing and the right to use the BTL Mark.

BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks was developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), BACnet is an American national standard, a European standard, a national standard in more than 30 countries, and an ISO global standard. The protocol is supported and maintained by ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 135 whose members have created and provided the content for this Website.

The BTL Mark is a mark of distinction and has come to represent a high level of quality and conformance based on rigorous independent testing. The BTL Certification Program provides suppliers with a way to highlight products that have successfully completed this testing, while it provides users with assurance that these products have been independently tested and have passed industry standard BACnet testing. The tests are designed to validate that the product correctly implements a specified set of BACnet features. The rigorous testing associated with obtaining the right to use the BTL Mark is a powerful methodology for finding and eliminating implementation errors before a product reaches the market.

Combining the current BTL Listing and WSPCert programs makes it easier for suppliers and users since there is now one integrated global process for BACnet Certification and Listing. Suppliers will only have to submit one application and all new products will have a formal certificate. Users and integrators can now look in one place to find information on all tested products. For many this listing will be a primary research tool for BACnet product information.

For more information on the BTL Certification Program please follow the links below., tel: 770-971-6003, fax: 678-229-2777,
1827 Powers Ferry Road, Building 14, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30339
© 2017 BACnet® International. All Rights Reserved.

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Alexandra District Energy Utility transfers to Lulu Island Energy Company

The City of Richmond, BC, Canada, the owner of IDEA’s 2016 System of the Year Award winning system, the Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU), is excited to share the news of the recent ADEU asset transfer to Lulu Island Energy Company (LIEC).

LIEC is a wholly-owned municipal corporation, established to manage district energy utility systems in the City of Richmond. Incorporated in August 2013, LIEC, a member of the International District Energy Association, (IDEA) is committed to excellence in sustainable energy utility development, management and operations as Richmond’s solution to providing clean, efficient energy for now and the future.

On December 31, 2016, the operations of the Alexandra District Energy Utility were transferred to Lulu Island Energy Company. The completion of the district energy assets transfer to LIEC was the final step towards Richmond City Council’s goal of assigning LIEC the function of providing current and future district energy services on behalf of the City. The transfer is important in order to support the ongoing successful establishment of LIEC, and to maintain the highest level of service for the growing customer base. The transfer will ensure that connected customers will continue to receive the many benefits of district energy, including improved efficiency and reliability, environmental benefits and comfort and convenience in the long term.

Under LIEC management, the ADEU has joined the Oval Village District Energy Utility (OVDEU). The OVDEU is another district energy system in Richmond, BC, Canada, which serves new mixed-use communities adjacent to the Richmond Olympic Oval with heat and domestic hot water. The OVDEU is being developed and constructed under a 30-year concession agreement with the private utility company, Corix Utilities, which is also a member of IDEA.

During the concession period, Corix Utilities designs, builds, finances and operates the OVDEU and supplies energy services to LIEC.  The first phase of the OVDEU is currently served with 11 MWth of plant capacity using natural gas boilers to provide heat. When enough buildings are connected to the system, a permanent energy centre will be built which will produce low carbon energy, currently planned to be extracted from the sanitary force main sewer. The expectation is that this low carbon energy will provide the majority of heat needs in any given year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.

Overall, LIEC provides energy to almost 2 million square feet of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. This has eliminated 1,250 tonnes of GHG emissions in the community to date. It is estimated that at full build out of the current service areas, the OVDEU and ADEU will reduce up to 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is equivalent to removing approximately 2,000 cars from the road each year. The LIEC remains adaptable to future technologies and sustainable energy sources, such as ground source heat, ground water heat, sewer heat and solar all serving to reduce the Richmond’s dependency on non-renewable energy.

Kristina Nish, Corporate Support, Sustainability & District Energy, City of Richmond, 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC  V6Y 2C1, 604.276.4166,

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DCO Energy acquires district energy system serving downtown Wilmington, Delaware

DCO Energy affiliate, WDK Energy Partners, LLC, has announced that it is entering the Wilmington, Delaware market.

Frank E. DiCola (Photo: DCO Energy)

DCO Energy, a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), has acquired the thermal plant assets that help provide heating and cooling to commercial and government office buildings in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, including 800 King Street and the New Castle County Courthouse and Justice Complex. The assets include the central utility plant and related infrastructure. The district energy plant produces 60 mmBtu/hour of heating and 6,000 tons of cooling, and can heat and cool up to 3,000,000 square feet of office space.

“We are proud to announce this acquisition and look forward to providing the same level of service DCO customers have come to know over the years,” said Frank E. DiCola, DCO’s Chief Executive Officer.

The Wilmington district energy plant assets were acquired from Pepco Energy Services.

DCO Energy currently owns district energy systems and generations assets across the United States.  In the last 17 years, the Company has developed approximately 500 MW electric, 75,000 tons chilled water and 1,145 mmBtu/hour of installed capacity.

About DCO Energy:
DCO Energy, LLC is an independent energy development company specializing in the development, engineering, construction, start up, commissioning, operation, maintenance and management, as well as, ownership of Central Energy Centers (CEC), Renewable Energy projects and Combined Heat, Chilling and Power (CHCP) Production Facilities. DCO provides financing, engineering and design, construction management, start up and commissioning resources and long-term operating and maintenance services for its own CEC, CHCP and Renewable Energy projects as well as third party clients.

Media Contact: Alexandra Jingoli, Marketing Coordination, DCO Energy, 609.896.3111,

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California’s Cap-and Trade Program wins in court, program’s future still unclear

Kyle Danish, a Partner with the law firm Van Ness Feldman, summarizes the April 6 a California appellate court 2-1 decision that preserves the state’s landmark cap-and-trade program. Van Ness Feldman is a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).

Kyle Danish

Kyle Danish

For climate policy advocates, California has been a kind of sanctuary state, unflagging in its commitment to ambitious mitigation strategies even as the Trump Administration moves to unwind programs at the federal level. In 2016, the California Legislature enacted an aggressive target for the state: reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. However, the state’s climate policies have been subject to ongoing judicial and legislative uncertainty.

On April 6, 2017, a California appellate court lifted one of those clouds of uncertainty, issuing a 2-1 decision that preserves the state’s landmark cap-and-trade program – at least through 2020. California Chamber of Commerce v. CARB. Thereafter, the fate of the cap-and-trade program is in the hands of the California Legislature, which is considering whether cap-and-trade will play a role in the state’s future climate policies – and, if so, in what form. This Alert summarizes the CARB court decision and describes the legislative activity underway.

Van Ness Feldman represents clients in California on a range of environmental, climate, and energy matters and participates actively in proceedings at the California Air Resource Board.  For more information, please contact Kyle Danish or any member of the firm’s Environmental practice. View Our Knowledge Center

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Will Massachusetts emerge as the hub of the Microgrid Industry?

opines in Microgrid Knowledge about the potential emergence of Massachusetts as the hub of the growing microgrid industry.

Say ‘oil’ and Houston comes to mind. Software is Silicon Valley. Steel is Pittsburgh. But for the fledgling microgrid industry, a regional identity has yet to form.

California and New York are strong contenders. But the title could go to Massachusetts.

Consider the company Massachusetts keeps. GE* and Schneider Electric*, two energy infrastructure and technology giants, chose to headquarter in or near Boston. Both are making a big push into the microgrid industry. Schneider’s new Boston One Campus even features a microgrid.

Italian utility Enel last month opened its North American green power headquarters in Andover, after making a splash into microgrids and energy storage with the purchase of Demand Energy.

And a range of other companies in microgrid-related technologies – combined heat and power (CHP), district energy, energy storage, solar and efficiency – have offices in the state. Among them are Siemens, Tecogen, Co-Energy America, Solectria, Typhoon HIL, Aegis, Veolia*, NEC, Raytheon and Enernoc.

So why Massachusetts? More….
*Members of the International District Energy Association and/or the Microgrid Resources Coalition.

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Mayor Emanuel: Chicago city buildings to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2025

Chicago, April 9, 2017–The Chicago Mayor’s Press Office has announced that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forest Claypool, Chicago Park District CEO Mike Kelly, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Eugene Jones, Jr., Fleet and Facility Management Commissioner David Reynolds, and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) leadership today announced their commitment to move their buildings’ electricity use to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

When implemented, Chicago will be the largest major city in the country to have a 100 percent renewable energy supply for its public buildings.

“As the Trump administration pulls back on building a clean energy economy, Chicago is doubling down,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By committing the energy used to power our public buildings to wind and solar energy, we are sending a clear signal that we remain committed to building a 21st century economy here in Chicago.”

Collectively the City, CPS, the Park District, CHA & CCC used nearly 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016, amounting to eight percent of all electricity use in Chicago; it is the equivalent to powering approximately 295,000 Chicago homes. The electricity used by these agencies is the same amount of energy created by over 300 wind turbines in one year.

The commitment will be met through a combination of acquiring renewable energy credits, utility-supplied renewable energy via Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, and on-site generation. Initial purchases will begin in 2018 and 2019.

Today’s action is a historic step forward in establishing Chicago as a clean energy leader,” said Jack Darin, Illinois Sierra Club President. “By moving boldly to repower its public buildings with renewable energy like wind and solar, Chicago is leading by example at a time when local leadership is more important than ever.

“While President Trump and his administration would reverse America’s progress on climate change and clean energy, Mayor Emanuel is ensuring that Chicago will move forward, and that its residents will benefit from the good jobs and cleaner air that come from renewable energy projects.

We look forward to working with the Mayor, community leaders, and the people of Chicago to achieve this bold goal on the path to eventually powering all of Chicago with 100% clean energy.”

Mayor Emanuel announced Chicago’s new commitment on the rooftop of Shedd Aquarium, which has installed over 900 solar panels in an effort to reduce their energy use by 50 percent by 2020. As a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge, Shedd Aquarium has also retrofitted nearly 1,000 of its light bulbs to LED and installed a 60,000 pound, one-megawatt battery on their own property.

The City and its sister agencies have already made significant strides to green their energy supply. In 2013, the City eliminated coal from the over 1 billion kilowatt hours in electricity it buys on an annual basis.

A dozen CPS schools have had solar arrays installed since 2009, while the Park District and City Colleges currently procure large portions of their energy use from renewable sources.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the City of Chicago earned a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. It is given annually to honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

Last week, the Mayor announced that the Smart Lighting Project will start on the South and West Sides this summer. Once approved by City Council, the Chicago Smart Lighting Project will replace 270,000 of Chicago’s light fixtures and add a management system that will give the city a state-of-the-art smart lighting grid.

Today’s announcement builds on the strong environmental track record built since 2011.In January, Mayor Emanuel announced that Chicago has reduced its carbon emissions by seven percent from 2010 to 2015.The reduction in greenhouse gases came at the same time Chicago saw a 25,000 person increase in its population and 12 percent growth in the region’s economy and jobs within the city. The emissions reduction, equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for eight months, compares to a one percent increase in nationwide emissions from 2009 to 2014.

Source: The Chicago Mayor’s Press Office, 312.744.3334,

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U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 1.7% in 2016

April 10, 2017–Perry Lindstrom reports in the U.S. Energy Information Administration publication “TODAY IN ENERGY”: that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2016 totaled 5,170 million metric tons (MMmt), 1.7% below their 2015 levels, after dropping 2.7% between 2014 and 2015. These recent decreases are consistent with a decade-long trend, with energy-related CO2 emissions 14% below the 2005 level in 2016.

graph of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by fuel, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

See more graphs and read more…

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California solar spike leads to negative CAISO real-time prices in March

reports April 10, 2017 in UtilityDIVE that a spike in California solar output resulted in negative CAISO real-time prices in March.

Dive Brief

  • Solar capacity on the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) system spiked last year, leading to negative prices at times when output is highest but demand is not.
  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total solar capacity in California (including both distributed and utility-scale systems) grew from less than 1 GW in 2007 to nearly 14 GW by the end of last year.
  • The rapid growth has led to low power prices in March, when energy demand is relatively low and solar production is high. On one day last month, real-time CAISO prices dipped below $0/MWh for roughly six hours, EIA said.


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County’s waste-to-energy plant marks 30 years on Earth Day

John Helmers, Olmsted County’s director of environmental resources, reports on April 7 in the Rochester, MN PostBulletin on the 30th anniversary of increasingly beneficial operation of the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility, an integrated solid waste management system. The facility features robust recycling and a waste-to-energy plant and is even extending the life of the old landfill it replaced. An open house and free shredding event is scheduled on April 22, 2016 at the site.

Saturday, April 22, 2017  1:00 PM - 4:00 PM  Join us in celebrating the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility's (OWEF) 30th anniversary. Take a tour of the OWEF and learn how Olmsted County is working to provide a proper place for your waste.  Bring your confidential documents (white office paper) to shred for free - limit 5 file boxes per household.  Click illustration for directions to Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF) (Illustration: OWEF)

Saturday, April 22, 2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Join us in celebrating the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility's (OWEF) 30th anniversary. Take a tour of the OWEF and learn how Olmsted County is working to provide a proper place for your waste. Bring your confidential documents (white office paper) to shred for free - limit 5 file boxes per household. Click illustration for directions to Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF) (Illustration: OWEF)

If you’ve lived, worked or visited Dodge County or Olmsted County during the past 30 years, your garbage has gone to the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility.

The 1980s were a turning point in how we deal with the waste we produce every day. Before 1987, everything pretty much went to a landfill. If you wanted to recycle, the materials had to be sorted at home into containers (for newspapers, cardboard, aluminum, and glass, by color), and delivered to a recycling center. We had no hazardous waste reuse or disposal programs, and no compost sites.

As more and more disposable, single-serve and fast food items came into the marketplace, landfills were filling up, and no one wanted a landfill in their backyard.

With the county’s landfill filling up, and the realization that there were only a few good places left to develop a new one, county officials decided to do something differently. With the guidance of a great citizen advisory committee, and a partnership with Dodge County, county commissioners invested in infrastructure to provide a proper place for all the waste generated in both counties.

The county’s integrated solid waste management system was set up to follow the state’s new solid waste hierarchy. Today, we’ve added plastic bottles, steel cans and other items to the list of recyclables, which are collected curbside by every garbage hauler. We no longer need to sort recyclables into the various categories if they are collected by our garbage hauler.

We have a permanent compost site for yard waste, and businesses are finding ways to compost or utilize food waste for animal food. Household recycling and composting have increased from 115 pounds per household in 1989 to 4,120 pounds per household in 2015.

We have a household hazardous waste facility that collects paints, solvents, cleaners, pesticides, household sharps, cell phones, and other toxic items we don’t want in the waste stream. And, we can get many of those same usable items for free through the product exchange.

Now, instead of going to a landfill, our garbage is used for fuel. The steam and electricity generated from this process is provided to 38 buildings on the District Energy System, including Mayo Civic Center, the Rochester Art Center, the city-county Government Center, the Rochester Public Library, the Federal Medical Center and other public buildings in Southeast Rochester. Enough energy is produced to power 6,000 homes. The operations continue day and night, 365 days per year and excess electricity is sold to Rochester Public Utilities and Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.

By turning our waste into energy, we save fossil fuels and reduce the amount of landfill space used by about 90 percent.

Without this system, we would have had to build two and a half more landfills to handle the waste produced in Olmsted and Dodge Counties over the last 30 years.

Recently, the county has started reclaiming waste and recovering materials for recycling at the landfill. The old waste is converted into energy at the waste-to-energy facility and the metals are separated to be recycled. This project has extended the life of the landfill to beyond 50 years.

On Saturday, April 22, we’ll celebrate 30 years of operation at the facility. Plan to join us from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a tour of the facility and see where your garbage goes. As an added perk, we’ll have a confidential document shredding event — bring up to five banker boxes for free shredding and recycling.

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ENGIE and Axium secure 50-year Comprehensive Energy Management Contract with The Ohio State University

HOUSTON & NEW YORK, April 7, 2017–ENGIE North America Inc. and Axium Infrastructure US have announced through BusinessWire that they have won a 50-year concession valued at $1.165 billion USD to address The Ohio State University’s energy sustainability goals for its 485-building campus in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest university campuses in the United States. Following detailed reviews by groups composed of students, faculty, and staff who identified the ENGIE-Axium proposal as the top bid, the university’s Board of Trustees approved the contract award on April 7, culminating a more than two-year-long process in which 40 interested parties initially participated.

Founded in 1870, Ohio State enrolls nearly 60,000 students on its Columbus campus, and welcomes approximately 100,000 people every weekday during the academic year.

Having worked as business partners in Canada for the past five years managing a portfolio of large-scale wind and solar installations totaling 680 MW, ENGIE and Axium are long-term operators and investors.

Michael V. Drake

Michael V. Drake

“This partnership positions us as an international leader in energy and sustainability and further strengthens Ohio State as a national flagship public research university,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to deploy our experience in energy efficiency, production, procurement, and commodity risk management to support Ohio State in its quest to become an international leader in sustainability while providing new resources to enhance its academic mission,» said Frank Demaille, CEO of ENGIE North America. “With innovation, performance, and safety underpinning all of our endeavors, we are eager to work with the Ohio State utility team and with faculty, staff, and students on new energy research and technology commercialization through a state-of-the-art Energy Advancement and Innovation Center that we will build.”

“Axium is thrilled to join forces with ENGIE to deliver world class energy services to Ohio State, and to advance the visionary sustainability objectives put forward by the Ohio State community,”said Thierry Vandal, President of Axium Infrastructure US.

Signature elements of the Comprehensive Energy Management Project include:

  • Operation and optimization of the university’s utility system, including Energy Conservation Management Services leveraging the existing system and development of future capital improvement projects to improve the university’s energy efficiency by 25% within 10 years.
  • Construction of a new Energy Advancement and Innovation Center for energy research and commercialization. The Center would create a living laboratory where faculty, students, alumni, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and ENGIE researchers can collaborate on next-generation technologies and services in areas such as smart energy systems, renewable energy, and green mobility. The Center will be ENGIE’s first research facility in North America, with connectivity across ENGIE’s worldwide research and industry network.

“We are entering a relationship with Ohio State that will span generations,” Demaille concluded. “ENGIE and Axium look forward to uniting our ambitions with the university and surrounding community to build a cleaner, more efficient, and more innovative energy future in the years to come.”

About ENGIE and Axium
ENGIE manages a range of energy businesses in the United States and Canada, including electricity generation and cogeneration, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution and sales, retail energy sales, and comprehensive services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy use and expense. Nearly 100 percent of the company’s power generation portfolio produces no carbon emissions or very few. Globally, the company is present in 70 countries and employs 153,090 people, including 1,000 researchers in 11 R&D centers. For more information, please visit, @ENGIENorthAm, and

Axium is a long-term, buy-and-hold infrastructure investment firm with over $1.5 billion in assets under management, as well as approximately $1 billion in managed co-investments. Axium currently holds a diversified portfolio of power and energy, transportation, and social infrastructure assets, including substantial investments in renewable energy to date, with interests in over 2.5 GW of wind, solar and hydroelectric power generation across North America.

ENGIE Press contact: Julie Vitek, 713-636-1962,

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