On October 21, 2021, the Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) announced that three Pennsylvania campuses achieved certification in the organization’s Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) rating system through the use of State Energy Program dollars. PEER recognizes cities, utilities, campuses and transit systems that improve their local electric grids to enhance resiliency, reliability, and sustainability, and assesses performance across four categories: reliability and resiliency; energy efficiency and environment; operations and management; and grid services.
The three campuses in Pennsylvania leveraged State Energy Program (SEP) dollars through a partnership between GBCI and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (which houses the State Energy Office) to enable their PEER certifications. As a result of the technical assistance provided by GBCI on the PEER assessment process, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania received a PEER Platinum Certification (the highest level of certification offered), while Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus and Lafayette College’s campus both achieved PEER Silver Certifications. Various strategies utilized by these campuses included: distributed energy resources (including solar panels and energy storage), energy efficiency upgrades, combined heat and power systems, and even a microgrid to reduce their carbon footprints and improve their system resilience and reliability.
As a result of the PEER assessment process, each campus expects to be able to withstand disasters while reducing their carbon footprints. Through the use of SEP funds and strategic partnerships between the State Energy Office and the private sector, Pennsylvania’s critical facilities are becoming well-equipped to handle future natural disasters and grid outages while meeting the state’s carbon reduction goals. For more information, please contact the Energy Programs Office at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection at RAemail@example.com.