Aldridge Electric Inc. recently completed work on the third phase of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Perfect Power pilot project in Chicago, one of only nine Smart Grid projects selected last summer to receive Department of Energy stimulus funding.

Once complete, the pioneer project guarantees continuous service or “perfect power” throughout the campus by creating redundancy and an intelligent electricity distribution system that interfaces with a campus-wide energy system controller.

The Aldridge Electric crew worked weekends and off-campus hours to safely complete the installation of all the electrical switchgear, controls, and medium voltage and fiber optic cable.

The university’s fourth and final phase plans to incorporate renewable energy resources, such as solar panels or wind turbines into their grid system.

Additionally, it will optimize building operating efficiency by utilizing communication between the power source and “smart” meters. These meters have sophisticated capabilities such as shutting off un-used or wasteful energy consuming appliances during peak load hours and selling the excess generation from the solar panels back into the grid.

This pilot project has the potential to be the future model for upgrading the electrical systems for universities, cities and communities across the country.

As consumers strive to cut down on energy consumption and renewable energy is rapidly incorporated into grid systems, sophisticated communication is needed to ensure power is integrated efficiently and safely.

Aldridge Electric is a national contractor established in 1952, providing electrical construction services to the renewable energy, power, infrastructure and transportation industries.

The Galvin Electricity Initiative, in conjunction with IIT, is leading the Perfect Power initiative. It was founded by former Motorola Chief Robert W. Galvin, whose vision of better meeting the needs of the electric consumer is coming to market after many decades of research and development.