Category: partners

Center for Emerging Energy Technologies Joins MSL

The Center for Emerging Energy Technologies (CEET) at the University of New Mexico has joined MSL, the inaugural research university in the consortium. CEET facilitates collaborative research in the inherently interdisciplinary field of emerging energy technologies, a perfect complement to MSL’s cross-sector structure. The Center is a meeting place for faculty, students and practitioners from the School of Engineering, other UNM divisions, and participants outside the university to work together to find the solutions to one of society’s most pressing needs: sustainable energy. In particular, CEET provides an environment to foster large-scale research efforts, involving Universities, Industry and the National Labs.

CEET strives to support the full cycle of innovation, from the conception of a specific energy material to its manufacture and deployment in various forms of energy infrastructure, across the three main domains of materials, devices, and systems. Research groups working in basic scientific discovery are cognizant of efforts in devices and systems, while at the other end of the scale, systems researchers are aware of developing trends in materials and devices. Current research activities include a project sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), under which CEET is helping the utility industry to catalog and maintain millions of power distribution assets.

CEET also operates the microgrid research and testing facilities at the Mesa del Sol mixed commercial-residential development in Albuquerque, a significant addition to MSL’s facilities network. The fully functioning microgrid was originally created by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The system comprises a 50 kW parking lot canopy solar PV system, and a microgrid enclosure containing an 80 kW fuel cell, a 240 kW natural gas-powered generator, a lead-acid battery bank, hot and cold thermal storage, an absorption chiller, and an electric air-cooled chiller for shifting thermal loads.

The Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Los Alamos corridor features a dense concentration of intellectual capital and assets. Joining MSL Members Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs and the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, CEET completes a highly effective nexus working in the microgrid domain, and will offer additional collaborative opportunities to the full consortium.



Advanced Energy Centre Joins MSL

The Advanced Energy Centre at the MaRS Discovery District (a leading innovation center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has joined MSL as a Member institution, bringing its significant and synergistic achievements in microgrids and local clean energy systems to our increasingly international mix of collaborators.

The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC), founded in February 2014, is a partnership between MaRS Discovery District, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the private sector with CapGemini and Siemens as founding partners. The Centre’s mission is to foster the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Ontario and Canada, and to leverage those successes and experiences into international markets. (more…)



SteamaCo Joins MSL for Rural Energy Solutions

SteamaCo, a leading venture-backed microgrid monitoring and payments platform based in Kenya, has joined MSL and its efforts to drive systems-level innovation in clean “energy poverty” solutions, for those lacking dependable access to electricity. SteamaCo has built more than 30 rural microgrids throughout the developing world. The company’s technology enables microgrid owners to monitor performance remotely, and capture consumer payments via mobile phone-based payment platforms, thereby overcoming many of the major challenges of keeping rural microgrids functioning reliably and profitably.

As stated in a 2015 article in The Guardian, “This simple but fundamental transition stands to make investment in solar micro-grids a truly compelling prospect, bringing electricity to millions and giving local entrepreneurs the tools to thrive.” (more…)



HOMER Energy Partners with MSL

MSL is very pleased to announce that HOMER Energy has joined as a Member organization. HOMER is the world’s leading microgrid modeling software company. The HOMER (Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources) microgrid software navigates the complexities of building cost effective and reliable microgrids that combine traditionally generated and renewable power, storage, and load management. With over 145,000 users in 193 countries, HOMER is the established global leader for microgrid design optimization and feasibility, and HOMER Energy is a nexus for the microgrid market.

MSL and HOMER will explore several areas of immediate and longer-term collaboration, utilizing their respective networks and core competencies. In particular, there are many aspects of workforce training and professional certification across geographical ares that are an increasingly important ecosystem factor. With its partner Santa Fe Community College, MSL will work with HOMER to develop an effective training capacity, and the modeling software will be incorporated into the microgrid curriculum at SFCC. (more…)



NREL Teams with MSL, SFCC for Campus Microgrid

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is collaborating with MSL and Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in their efforts to develop an advanced campus-wide microgrid for training, research, and testing and validation. NREL is a member of MSL, and SFCC is a founding MSL partner with responsibility for workforce and professional development initiatives.

The campus microgrid will be a state-of-the-art facility, unique among community colleges and comparable to university campus installations, with an emphasis on supporting the college’s educational mission, sustainability goals, operational efficiencies, and MSL’s strategic objectives. It will link existing assets, including a 1.5 megawatt photovoltaic array and a district heating and cooling system, with new technology that is capable of demonstrating the full range of advanced microgrid functionality. (more…)



Former EPRI CEO Joins MSL Advisors

Kurt Yeager, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), has joined MSL as an Advisor. During his distinguished career at EPRI, he led the development of the Electricity Technology Roadmap and the Electricity Sector Framework for the Future. Following his tenure at EPRI, he led the Galvin Electricity Initiative, and has also worked with the MITRE Corporation, the EPA Office of Research, and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), for which he was the convening lead author for the Global Energy Assessment. (more…)



Clean Coalition Joins MSL

We are pleased to announce that the Clean Coalition has joined MSL as a Member institution. The Clean Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise. As such, it complements MSL’s goals and approach.

More specifically, the Coalition drives policy innovation to remove barriers to procurement and interconnection of distributed energy resources, and to establish market mechanisms that realize the full potential of integrating these solutions. The Clean Coalition also collaborates with utilities and municipalities to create near-term deployment opportunities that prove the technical and financial viability of local renewables and other DER. These deployment opportunities may offer collaborative opportunities with MSL’s demonstration project agenda. (more…)



MSL Welcomes New Advisor

We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Seth Blumsack, Ph.D. as an MSL Advisor. Seth is Associate Professor of Energy Policy and Economics in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He is also Chair of the Energy Business and Finance program; Faculty member in the Operations Research program at Penn State University; Co-Director of the Penn State Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative; and is the John T. Ryan Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He also holds a position as an Adjunct Research Professor with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center and the Centre for Energy and Mineral Economics at the Curtin University of Technology in Australia.

Following a fruitful collaboration at a Santa Fe Institute workshop, co-chaired by Seth, on “Reinventing the Grid,” in which MSL Managing Director David Breecker was a participant, Seth agreed to join MSL’s advisory panel; and MSL is now working with him on plans for one or more extended cross-sector working groups and a 2016 workshop on the same topic. (more…)



MSL at Santa Fe Energy Summit

MSL was pleased to help develop and participate in the Santa Fe Energy Summit of August, 2015. Convened by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, in collaboration with Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzalez, the Summit “…brought together experts, business and tribal leaders, public officials, and decision makers to advance the clean energy economy in northern New Mexico through innovation, investment, smart policies, and collaboration.” Senator Heinrich sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and has proposed and promoted legislation bearing on several aspects of grid modernization. (more…)



Workforce & Training Infrastructure Progress

MSL Partner Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and its Sustainable Technologies Center has received two funding commitments in support of its Microgrid Education Center (MEC), which now begins its planning and development phase. Together, these commitments address both curriculum and associated equipment and infrastructure, including a campus-wide functional microgrid testbed, in a way that supports MSL’s overall mission and objectives.

The Microgrid Education Center will provide technical training, ongoing development for industry professionals, custom training for industry, and upper-level courses and advanced degrees through university partnerships, along with “train the trainer” offerings for global applications. The electric industry workforce is graying rapidly, and will require large numbers of new workers soon, with concurrent growth internationally in rural electrification. In order to keep pace with the technological innovations affecting the industry, there will be a crucial need for appropriately trained technical staff at all levels and sectors of the industry, a need that MEC will help address. The initial course at SFCC, with the working title of “Introduction to Sustainable Energy Technologies,” will be offered in the spring semester of 2016, and the Smart Grid and Microgrid Program flier can be dowloaded here.

(more…)