U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz and U.S. Senator Cantwell visit PAE

PAE was honored when US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and US Senator Maria Cantwell paid a visit during a tour of the Bullitt Center with Bullitt Foundation Founder Denis Hayes.

The visitors were greeted by PAE’s President Paul Schwer, along with local Principals Steve Reidy and Allan Montpellier, who led a brief tour of the office and discussed the state of Living Buildings and forthcoming battery technology. Secretary Moniz was impressed to learn that PAE had not only designed the Bullitt Center, but also designed the new Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, and is in the process of designing a new Living Building for the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was familiar with all 3 projects.

PAE was pleased to discuss the leading-edge topic of battery technology in the built environment with the Energy Secretary. When used in conjunction with renewable power generation, such as photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines, batteries allow for excess energy generated by the building to be stored on site for future use, keeping buildings self-sustaining and making commercial Living Buildings such as the Bullitt Center more and more viable as this technology develops.

At the present time, battery technology is most commonly used in electric vehicles, and is currently too expensive to be extensively used in buildings. However, the Energy Secretary mentioned that battery costs have dropped 2 to 3 times over the last 7 years and are likely drop 2 to 3 times more within the next 5 to 10 years. At that point, their use in the built environment is expected to become much more widespread.

PAE is already working towards designing flexible, energy-efficient systems to accommodate this growing technology. It was a treat to share PAE’s insights with the country’s top energy expert.