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Resilient Retail Shopping Center: A Near Net Zero Experience

May 5, 12:45-1:45 pm

Approved for 1.0 general GBCI CEs and 1.0 AIA LU



Khalid Malik, Owner Representative, Green TurnKey Inc.

Scott Sine, Lead Engineer, Grid & Energy Master Planning LLC

Rey Montalvo, Technology Consultant, Consolidated Energy Design




The State of Maryland has placed a high priority on determining how shopping malls, shopping centers, and strip malls can affect the electric power grid and what kind of impact these spaces can play in limiting the effects of global warming. In other words, can efficiency projects be done in such a way that the facility benefits from energy improvements, but is also shielded from the potential effects and challenges resulting from a changing climate? This report studies these spaces with a focus on microgrids as an energy efficiency and resiliency opportunity.


The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is conducting market research and market analysis under the FY20 Resilient Maryland Program. The MEA awarded this project to PRI/19647 Fisher Avenue LLC after submitting a competitive proposal. The PRI entity engaged Green Turnkey as an Owner’s Representative. Green Turnkey contracted with Consolidated Energy Design, Inc. (CED), as a nationally recognized smart grid technology leader along with their Design Professionals, Grid and Energy Master Planning, llc (GEMM). CED engaged GEMM to play a lead role in the technical aspects of this Report.


The project is centered at Poolesville Towne Center (PTC). PTC is a prime sample for this study. Although every property has its individual characteristics, PTC is similar in nature to many other shopping centers. While most small to medium size businesses in the Northeast are heated by gas and cooled by electricity, in southern regions it is not uncommon for strip malls to be both heated and cooled by electricity. Either way, PTC was not built considering the greater electric grid issues and impact on the globe. Like most projects of this type, it was built during a time when electricity costs were fairly inexpensive and first costs were the priority consideration.


There are thousands of similar retail centers making up millions of square feet of space throughout America. The exact number is not part of this study, but the point is that PTC is representative of shopping centers that can be found commonly in the USA and particularly in Maryland. While the main focus of this study is PTC, it should be noted that understanding the broad impact of this study on typical strip malls is key to how Maryland may address climate change on a grander scale and should form the basis for a larger vision that can serve as a case study for other states.


Learning Objectives


  1. Explain how efficiency projects can facilitate energy improvements in facilities with protection from the potential effects of climate change

  2. Identify emerging technology tools that can be used to contribute to GHG emissions goals and objectives

  3. Gain insight on funding facility resiliency projects through a Tax Law framework considering other financial resources available to property owners

  4. Apply knowledge and lessons learned from a showcase of the first Maryland Net Zero project completed at no-cost to the building owner yielding a 90% load reduction.


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