Grid Modernization Grant Program Success
Funded Grid Modernization Projects
2021-2022 City of Albuquerque
In fiscal year 2022, EMNRD awarded funding to the City of Albuquerque for a Balanced Resource Acquisition and Information Network (BRAIN) data center and computer platform. The BRAIN, initiated by the city and built with the technical support of Albuquerque-based Mountain Vector, is an automated energy, water, renewables, and asset management data interface.
The City’s Energy and Sustainability Management Division (ESMD) manages over 4,818 metered utility accounts, nearly 39 MW of solar, 9 battery installations and 56 building management systems across over 600 facilities. The vision for the BRAIN platform is to ensure all the data and connectivity is established in one place.
The BRAIN’s primary benefits to the grid currently are capturing energy usage data and enabling real-time demand response. The BRAIN can automatically trigger a ‘change of state’ or ‘control command’ to the assets and resources to which it is connected. Through the BRAIN, city energy managers can execute a pre-programmed asset response when prompted by PNM. Pre-cooling, temperature setbacks, discharging a behind the meter battery, dimming lights, interrupting an EV charging station are all examples of possible ‘control commands’ that can initiate from the BRAIN to interact with the grid.
According to Saif Ismail, Energy and Sustainability Division Manager,
“The City can now manage assets with speed and agility to perform interactively with the modern grid with a 100% renewable energy footprint. This will result in optimal use of City resources, reduced cost, reduced waste, cleaner air, and better stewardship, transparency, energy education, and economic development opportunities for our community.”
The project represents a team effort between the State, the City of Albuquerque, Mountain Vector, Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), and the numerous vendors that participated by allowing the city to capture real-time data.
“PNM supports the overall goals and concepts of the City of Albuquerque’s Balanced Resource Acquisition and Information Network (BRAIN) in enabling real time visibility, flexibility and responsiveness with existing and future energy storage, generation and building control resources to benefit the public, the City’s critical systems and infrastructure, and thereby furthering the State’s energy policy.”
Total Project Cost: $600,000
Total Grid Modernization Grant Program Funding: $301,000 (includes federal State Energy Program funding allocation of $250,000 and a state allocation of $51,000)
BRAIN dashboard interface and schematic. Images courtesy of City of Albuquerque, Energy & Sustainability Management Division.