Gas Technology Institute (GTI)

GTI is the leading research, development and training organization addressing energy and environmental challenges to enable a secure, abundant, and affordable energy future. For more than 75 years, it has been providing economic value to the natural gas industry and energy markets by developing technology-based solutions for industry, government, and consumers. The GTI Tour may include visits to some of the following Labs:

  • Appliance & Equipment Lab fosters the development and advancement of appliances and equipment.
  • CHP & Renewable Energy Lab contains solar thermal technologies and associated end use equipment such as tank and tankless natural gas water heaters, boilers, space conditioning equipment.
  • Hydrogen Technology Pad tests hydrogen technologies and systems and includes multiple test bays and the latest in hydrogen monitoring equipment.
  • Soil & Pavement Facility allows for evaluation, development, and cost-analysis studies of new materials and technologies related to utility installations and pavement restoration practices; and
  • The Industrial Laboratory where researchers develop and evaluate advanced steam and power technologies for industrial and large commercial application and systems for use industrial process heating products and systems.


Green Era

Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farming Campus in South Chicago will recycle organic waste to produce clean, renewable energy, compost for local food production, and green jobs for low-income residents.  When organic materials are anaerobically digested, biogas, a renewable source of energy, is created. Biogas can be upgraded into biomethane, or Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), which is interchangeable with traditional pipeline-quality natural gas. RNG from organic waste is considered carbon negative. This first-of-its-kind project has transformed a vacant brownfield site into a vibrant green educational campus, that is driving economic development in an underserved community.  The tour will focus on how the Green Era Campus has become a critical piece of green infrastructure: a climate-resilient food system that supports farms, feeds people, creates renewable energy and drives economic development.


Oracle Innovations Lab

Oracle Utilities is excited to welcome commissioners and staff to the Oracle Industries Innovation Lab, a hands-on space that allows for utility innovation, collaboration, and exploration. Immerse yourself in one of many interactive exhibits from the Connected Hub, the smart studio, or the utility simulator. Visitors step into the shoes of different personas from an end customer to a network engineer and experiment with new and upcoming technology. Small groups will tour the interactive lab spaces and partake in live demonstrations that tackle the challenges of operating a modern grid and delivering value to utility customers.   (24 people maximum, Commissioners and Staff Only.)


Jardine Water Plant

At the heart of Chicago’s wastewater and freshwater purification network is the Jardine Plant, considered the largest water treatment plant in the world, capable of processing over 1 million gallons per minute. This plant, built in 1964, is among Chicago’s most highly secured locations, as it supplies 12 massive pumping stations, over 4,200 miles of pipes and 118 suburbs with fresh water each day. Jardine itself consists of over 18,000 data collection points (across pumps, flows, motors, temperatures, tanks, etc) being monitored and controlled in real time.  (40 people maximum)



At Sunrun attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about solar panel technology, home batteries and bi-directional EV charging.  In addition, attendees can see demonstrations of working solar panels, rooftop solar installation and installation of home batteries and bi-directional home EV charging stations. (50 people maximum.)


Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium offers an example of an unusual microgrid in development, one that contributes to a sustainable environment for more than 1,500 species, including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians and insects. The energy plant includes: a 265-KW rooftop system with 913 PV panels; sophisticated building management, metering, analytics, and energy efficiency solutions, designed to cut energy use an ambitious 50% by 2020 within a demanding environment; and a 1 MW/250kWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system deployed for frequency regulation in the he PJM market. The Shedd Aquarium offers an opportunity to see step-by-step development of a remarkable energy system that is clean, resilient, and highly efficient. (20 people maximum.)