The Galvin Electricity Initiative, a non-profit organization founded by former Motorola CEO Robert W. Galvin to promote "microgrids" (see Post # 45) has developed a ranking and recognition program for smart microgrid projects intended to encourage innovation in the electricity industry by emphasizing consumer needs.
Microgrids are small-scale versions of the centralized electricity system, generally, low voltage distribution networks with distributed energy sources. The Galvin Initiative’s new program, the Perfect Power Seal of Approval, will rank projects based on performance in the key categories of reliability, consumer empowerment, efficiency and environment, and cost.
The rating system was developed in collaboration with an advisory committee of professionals in several sectors, such as power distribution, environmental advocacy, utility benchmarking, green buildings and product safety. The committee uncovered precedence for each of the new metrics but found that until now, they have not been combined to form a comprehensive picture of electricity system performance from a consumer perspective.
The new program is based on the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification for buildings. The Galvin Initiative is working with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. to train and certify evaluators. In a pilot phase, the program will test the beta version of the rating system by evaluating a select group of projects. Beyond the pilot phase, the program will expand to additional types of projects with the help of a broader stakeholder process.