The DEI involves collaboration among the City of Pittsburgh, the Center for Energy, the US Department of Energy, and leading regional institutions including the foundations and key industry partners. This initiative includes a Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Pittsburgh and the Department of Energy, as well as an MOU Implementation Charter which defines the Center for Energy’s leadership role. One of the main activities of the Center for Energy in 2015 has been the development of the detailed implementation plan.
Project Summary - The Center for Energy is deeply engaged with the City of Pittsburgh, working closely with the Mayor’s office on the District Energy Initiative plan and concepts for the City, which includes a vision to make Pittsburgh a model for mature city energy infrastructure renaissance. Concepts include the identification and creation of microgrid districts throughout parts of the city, along with various energy resource plans, with a goal of creating one of the most sustainable energy ecosystems in North America. Integral to this vision and the plans under development is the role of DC infrastructure for electric power delivery. Thus, the Center for Energy’s role is not just in crafting the concepts and value proposition of the district energy plan, but also in contributing significantly to its potential success through technology research, development, deployment and demonstration, setting a leading example nationwide. To date, the Center for Energy has helped spearhead a coalition of partners engaged in the District Energy initiatives which, importantly, includes Duquesne Light, People’s Gas, as well as the U.S. Department of energy. Other organizations, including energy suppliers (such as NRG), technology vendors (such as Eaton), and key end-users (such as Pitt-Ohio Express and UPMC) are being strategically engaged in the process, through Pitt’s leadership role.
Pitt’s Role - As the City of Pittsburgh’s lead implementing organization, the University of Pittsburgh will provide:
1. Overall program management support to the City’s technical team including:
a. Facilitation and organization of overall program initiatives
b. Coordination and planning of meetings, events, and promotional activities
c. Engagement of industry and community partners and coordination of the City's technical team and participating parties on establishing program goals, objectives, outcomes, and deliverables.
d. Lead or significant contribution to pilot project initiatives
e. Lead or significant contribution to funding proposal efforts
2. Public Utility and Energy Industry Coordination to the City including:
a. Liaise with the region's public utilities and energy-focused corporations to develop innovative research initiatives focused on renewable integration, distribution, storage, and microgrid development
b. Establish coalitions around select project initiatives involving multiple-organization complexities
3. Lead support to the City's in development of technology R&D roadmap and related R&D including:
a. Collaboration with all parties involved (utilities, manufacturers, suppliers, end-users, and community organizations) on identification of key technology R&D initiatives.
b. Leading City’s partnering with DOE on developing an R&D roadmap for integration of new and innovative technology development, demonstration, and deployment across district energy projects
c. Leading role in supporting and implementing selected funded R&D efforts
4. Educational and Outreach Program Support to the City including:
a. In partnership with key organizations, coordinate resources for educational activities and community outreach
b. Support new curriculum development and training initiatives related to district energy concepts,planning, engineering, and related disciplines
c. Implement supported educational programs across industry and university platforms, such as in the form of future short courses, workshops, and/or certificate degree programs
5. Implementation of a dedicated staffing plan to support the University’s role.