News Brief

DOE to Test Grid-Harmonization Tech in the Real World

Seven new “proving grounds” will test the effectiveness of new energy-efficiency and grid-harmonization strategies.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with seven state and local governments to create “proving grounds” designed to test advanced building technologies. Many of the technologies enhance “grid harmonization,” using strategies that are responsive to the grid’s supply in order to reduce energy costs while also keeping the grid cleaner.

  • Austin Energy—This project in Texas focuses on energy affordability in multifamily projects. A connected system of HVAC technologies and water heaters is designed to shift energy loads during peak hours to save tenants money.
  • Dane County, Wisconsin—Retrofits featuring triple-pane windows and connected LED lighting could reduce HVAC energy use 10% and lighting energy use 60% while also providing grid services.
  • Judicial Council of California—This project will test commercial heat-pump water heaters and their ability to reduce peak loads.
  • Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources—Here, artificial intelligence will be used for demand response in grocery stores.
  • South El Monte, California—Autonomous building controls will be installed in public buildings, with expected energy savings of 10% to 30%.
  • Sumner County, Kansas—Energy storage in ceiling tiles? This project will test the concept.
  • Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation—Gas-absorption heat pumps will be installed in a commercial setting to determine their effectiveness in this application—the one project that’s pulling against today’s trend towards electrification.

DOE “expects to significantly improve energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and building-to-grid capabilities” with these technologies, according to its website.

For more information:

U.S. Department of Energy


Published March 1, 2021

Melton, P. (2021, February 17). DOE to Test Grid-Harmonization Tech in the Real World. Retrieved from

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