The largest net-zero plus commercial building retrofit in the United States officially opened a few days ago in Los Angeles. The NetZero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI) will function as a living laboratory, educational facility and demonstration center for advanced and emerging clean energy technologies.
According to reports, commercial buildings in Los Angeles are expected to produce an increasing amount of carbon emissions at the fastest rate compared to all other typologies. They already account for around 65 percent of the city’s energy use. To combat the potential environmental impact, new construction standards in California will require all commercial structures to be built as net-zero buildings by 2030.
The NetZero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI) retrofit will generate more energy than it will consume each year, thanks to its onsite, roof-mounted solar array. Excess energy will be stored in the building’s battery storage system and fed back into the electric grid system. The multi-million dollar retrofit cuts total energy consumption by 51 percent, and offsets 520 metric tons per year of carbon emissions.
“This innovative program embodies all we are trying to accomplish in creating a more sustainable region: solar energy; energy efficiency; backup power; recycled materials; livable workplaces; green jobs; and economic opportunity for everyone,” said 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.”