Columbia’s Team Wins “Most Innovative Solution” for First Ever BBCC Solar Case.
On March 14, the US Department of Energy (DOE) hosted the 3rd annual Better Buildings Case Challenge (BBCC), an initiative to engage talent across undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels to address some of the nation’s most pressing energy dilemmas related to buildings. The 2014 competition attracted 44 teams from 27 schools, up from 18 in 2013.
In October, students from Columbia’s International Affairs, Engineering, Business, and Sustainability Management graduate programs applied to fill ten spots to compete on two of six cases for the 2014 BBCC.
After months of preparation, written case reports were submitted weeks ahead of the final competition. Presentations of case solutions were held at DOE headquarters in Washington, DC, and judged by industry professionals with expertise relating to each case. Awards were given in two categories – Most Replicable Solution, and Most Innovative Solution.
This was the first year a solar case was given. The challenge was to present a strategy for an investor owned utility to meet an 18% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with a 4% solar energy carve-out by 2023. Columbia’s team won the Most Innovative Solution award. Their solution proposed a new rate structure model that resembled a hybrid of two current approaches, time-of-use and real-time pricing.
Congratulations to the winners!