ORNL has created a building energy model for each of the 178,000 homes and buildings in EPB’s service territories. These models are used to evaluate efficiency and demand response measure and inform EPB programs.
ORNL has created a building energy model for each of the 178,000 homes and buildings in EPB’s service territories. These models are used to evaluate efficiency and demand response measure and inform EPB programs.
ORNL

Project website: https://evenstar.ornl.gov/autobem/virtual_epb

Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN

Performers: Electric Power Board of Chattanooga – Chattanooga, TN

Total DOE Funding: $650,000

FY19 DOE Funding: $400,000 

Project Term: October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2019

Funding Type: Lab Award

Related Projects: EnergyPlus, OpenStudio

Project Objective

The Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga is a publicly owned utility that uniquely supplies both electricity and internet to southeastern Tennessee.

In this project, ORNL will use EPB’s 15-minute electricity consumption data along with GIS data to create a “digital twin”, i.e., a calibrated building energy model, for each of the 178,000 buildings in EPB’s service territory.  These models will support analysis for five utility-defined use cases including rate structure design, energy-efficiency program design, demand response program design, design for resiliency, and customer communications.

Project Impact

EPB’s gigabit Ethernet backed electricity grid is effectively leveraged by DOE’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) as a living laboratory and EPB is in the process of creating a secure control center at ORNL for EPB’s business systems. EPB projects provide case studies and models for other utilities and that informs BTO investment decisions.

The project leverage’s DOE investments in High Performance Computing to scalably analyze large data building property data sets, create EnergyPlus models, run in excess of 3 million simulations, and analyze over 13TB of results. A preliminary result indicates demand response (DR) and energy efficiency (EE) measures can save EPB’s customers $11-35 million annually.

Contacts

  • DOE Technology Manager: Amir Roth and Madeline Salzman
  • Lead Performer: Joshua New, Oak Ridge National Laboratory