Marriott International has announced plans to develop more than 23 megawatts of load-response capability across more than 250 Marriott-managed hotel properties in the mid-Atlantic, New England, New York, Texas, and California. Marriott signed an agreement with Constellation Energy to use Constellation’s load-response program to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity costs at Marriott properties while ensuring guest comfort through expanded building-automation capability and customized load-curtailment strategies.

As part of the agreement, Marriott will leverage Constellation Energy’s VirtuWatt energy management system in concert with existing building automation to track electricity usage, bid directly into demand-response markets, and automate load-curtailment strategies. Marriott properties may elect to receive financing through Constellation Energy’s load-response program to defray the upfront cost of demand-response-related equipment upgrades, as well as take advantage of load-based utility incentives in markets where they are available.

“Marriott International sees this program as a direct link to our global sustainability efforts,” said Robert Bahl, vice president of engineering and facilities for Marriott International, Americas. “In addition to load-response, the associated automation of this program will help to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of our hotels, saving an estimated 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.”

“Constellation Energy worked with us and our partners for more than a year to develop a load-response program and a customized technology solution platform to complement our specific business objectives and diverse portfolio of hotels,” said Douglas Rath, energy director for Marriott International, Americas. “By leveraging Marriott’s existing building controls systems, vendor relationships, utility and Constellation Energy incentive opportunities, we are able to expand our automation capabilities, increase facility efficiency, drive participation in load-response programs and accelerate Marriott’s sustainability initiatives.”

In 2010, Constellation Energy and Marriott conducted a load response analysis and pilot at 17 Marriott properties, which identified technology requirements and laid the groundwork for this national-scope load-response program.

“Constellation Energy is a longtime partner with Marriott on energy procurement, and together we’ve created a load-response program that is a coherent driver within Marriott’s overall energy management strategy,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president, demand response, for Constellation Energy. “Providing properties access to real-time usage data and responsive automation capability will allow Marriott to maximize energy market revenue and savings opportunities, and in a challenging economic climate, do so with the most efficient use of capital.”

Through a partnership with Automated Logic Corporation (ALC), Constellation Energy will implement indirect load control at Marriott properties where ALC systems are installed. Constellation Energy’s VirtuWatt platform will enable Marriott properties with other brands of automation to implement pre-set curtailment scenarios for building systems such as generation, pumping, and HVAC, based on load shortages, electricity usage or real-time pricing.

VirtuWatt provides facility operators a web-based interface for selecting specific curtailment scenarios on an as-needed basis to match daily business demands. VirtuWatt also provides Marriott International with a centralized system for load control at multiple sites, an enterprise-view of electricity usage and data grouped by independent system operator or regional transmission organizations.

Constellation Energy is a supplier of power, natural gas, and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. The company manages load response programs for commercial and industrial customers in the PJM Interconnection, New England, New York, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), California and Ontario regions.