Integrated Community Energy Systems


Units: 12

Description: Integrated community energy systems (ICESs) are an emerging strategy to meet local energy needs and to provide system services to the central grid, adding resilience to both systems. ICES integrate available environmental and technical resources and reflect the local socioeconomic and institutional context. Consequently, each ICES will be distinct and will reflect time-dependent local thermal and electrical energy requirements and the political appetite for local energy infrastructure. 48-761 (cross-listed with 90-793) is a new graduate class that examines the technical and environmental characteristics of existing ICES and the political and regulatory context that supports them. The class is designed to introduce students to the design and operation of ICES and to the impact of policy and regulation in facilitating or discouraging their creation. Globally, countries are seeking strategies to make energy infrastructure more robust and sustainable in the face of climate change and the demands of growing and developing populations. This course provides a focused look at integrated community systems as a promising approach to reshape our energy landscape. The course will focus on energy demands and supply in the built environment, although integration with the transportation and industrial sectors will be discussed within the context of existing case studies. Prerequisites: registering students should understand conventional energy infrastructure and applied thermal and electrical energy use within buildings. They should also have an appreciation for policy and regulation and the ability to read and understand regulatory language. The course is project based and students will apply what they learn in class to local projects. District energy system modeling will be introduced, although students are not required to master it. For their final projects, students can concentrate on either technical or policy/regulatory aspects of ICES since both are critical to their development.