Hanley Wood, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and EMerge Alliance will unveil the Net Zero Zone at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo taking place at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Oct. 22 to 24.

“Driven by the innovative work of EMerge Alliance and its members, the launch of the Net Zero Zone will make Greenbuild the first conference and expo to have exhibition space where booths are fully powered by an on-site microgrid including alternate energy generation, storage and distribution,” said Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild's show director. “This is an important step for the trade show industry and sends a strong message to the entire green building movement that hybrid power in buildings is both possible and practical.”

According to Roberts, the Net Zero Zone at Greenbuild will focus on three areas:

The Net Zero Pavilion, a specially designated exhibit area inside the expo hall, powered by the microgrid, showcasing 11 exhibitors in 1,500 square feet of exhibit space

Net Zero Networking Lounge where sponsor representatives and educational presentations are available to all show attendees

An outdoor demonstration of typical on-site solar electricity generation that is connected directly to in-building hybrid microgrid storage and distribution equipment adjacent to the Net Zero Networking Lounge

The official launch of the Net Zero Zone will take place Wed., Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Net Zero Networking Lounge located on Level 2 of the Morial Convention Center.

Designed using EMerge Alliance standards for the hybrid use of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power in buildings, the Net Zero Zone showcases the efficiency, reliability and resiliency of hybrid microgrids—systems of local electric power generation, storage and distribution that can operate either in combination with the local utility grid or in isolation from it. Booths in the Net Zero Zone will demonstrate the seamless capability of autonomously operating both on, off and in combination with the local utility grid.

“The Net Zero Zone illustrates one of the main themes of this year’s conference: resiliency,” said Kate Hurst, USGBC' director of conferences and events. “At USGBC, we can’t think of a better place than New Orleans or a more important venue than the largest sustainable building conference in the world to introduce this evolved approach to electric power.”

According to Brian Patterson, EMerge Alliance's president, the Alliance is on a mission to create a more resilient and sustainable infrastructure for electric power in the same way the Internet created such an infrastructure for data, and the Net Zero Zone will give conference attendees a hands-on look at the technology.

“Greenbuild 2014 attendees will find it hard to overlook the significance of seeing their first fully functioning microgrid in the resilient, energetic and historic city of New Orleans,” he said.

According to Patterson, the EMerge Alliance is involved in more than 50 hybrid AC/DC microgrids being tested and demonstrated at key sites around the world, including a Steel Orca data center in Princeton, N.J., the NextEnergy Center research facility in Detroit and the State of Michigan’s Treasury building in Flint, Mich.

For more information, visit greenbuildexpo.com.