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Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute: Nation's Largest Net Zero Plus Commercial Building Retrofit Opens in LA


Los Angeles — June 6, 2016 — Monday marked the opening of the nation’s largest net zero plus commercial building retrofit, the Net Zero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI), located in Greater Los Angeles.

The 144,000-square-foot demonstration center and living laboratory on advanced and emerging clean energy technologies showcases the future of smart energy-efficiency design, microgrid system integration, energy storage solutions, building resiliency in the wake of natural disasters or grid interruptions, and a suite of integrated electrical technologies and controls.

The center (see photo) is also an educational facility that trains about 1,500 electrical apprentices, journeymen, and contractors annually for careers at the forefront of the electrical industry.  

"This innovative program embodies all we are trying to accomplish in creating a more sustainable region: solar energy; energy efficiency; back-up power; recycled materials; livable workplaces; green jobs; and economic opportunity for everyone," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "It is the largest net zero plus commercial building retrofit in the U.S. and a great example of how we can transform our existing buildings — and thanks to IBEW Local 11 and LA/NECA, 1,500 people will now be prepared to be part of the clean energy future and have access to good paying jobs.”

As defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, “a zero net energy (ZNE) is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.” 

The NZP-ETI takes it a step farther, as it will generate more energy than it consumes each year. This excess energy, generated by an onsite photovoltaic solar array, can be stored in the center’s battery storage system or discharged back into the electric grid system. 

“The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and the Los Angeles National Electrical Contractors Association formed a partnership to develop the NZP-ETI with the mission to provide world-leading electrical training and have nationally recognized programs of excellence in training,” said Marvin Kropke, business manager, IBEW Local 11. “Through this partnership and in cooperation with utilities and private companies, IBEW Local 11 and LA/NECA are pioneering the Net Zero Plus program to transform commercial markets by employing the newest electrical technologies and training the most skilled workforce in the U.S.”

Commercial buildings account for nearly 65 percent of Los Angeles’ energy use and are responsible for vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., CO2 emissions from all building types are estimated to increase faster than any sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest. In California, new construction standards will require that all new residential construction be built at net zero energy by 2020 and all new commercial buildings be built to net zero standards by 2030.       

The energy, environmental, economic and community benefits of this multi-million dollar retrofit include:  

• 51 percent reduced total energy consumption  

• 185,000 KWh/year more energy than consumed

• 520 metric tons/year reduction of CO2

• 1,500 individuals trained each year for long-term careers in the energy industry

• A resource for architects, developers, and building owners to learn about the integration of advanced technologies

• Enhanced grid stability and improved natural disaster and emergency response solutions

• Maintenance of a goal of 50 percent veteran enrollment in each new apprenticeship class, as well as a comprehensive outreach program encompassing disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles County  

“We are preparing the electrical industry of the future with transformational training to help them serve their customers with energy cost reduction strategies, realize new revenues, manage costs of reliability, invest in energy independence, and achieve sustainability goals,” said Jim Willson, executive director, Los Angeles NECA. “Our member contractors and workforce are receiving classroom education and jobsite training as well as developing integrated energy solution capabilities in renewable energy, battery storage, and microgrids. This state-of-the-art training enables our contractors and workforce to design, safely install, and maintain complex energy systems.” 

The NZP-ETI will earn the International Living Future Institute’s net zero energy certification and will be verified a net zero building by the New Buildings Institute. In addition, it was built to USGBC’s LEED Gold standard.  

For more information about the NZP-ETI, visit http://www.nzp-eti.com.

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 6/8/2016

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