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…)
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.
MSL Managing Director David Breecker has been asked to serve on two of the Working Groups (the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy group, and the Finance group) supporting the City of Santa Fe’s Climate Action Task Force. In addition, Randy Grissom, President of MSL partner Santa Fe Community College, is a member of the Task Force.
On Monday, November 3, Mayor Javier M. Gonzales hosted the city’s first-ever Climate Action Summit, which examined the city’s efforts and progress in the areas of water, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation. The mayor was joined by members of the Task Force, whose mission is to counsel and advise the mayor on the types of strategies and programs the city should undertake to create a healthier and more resilient community by protecting the environment.
City staff presented to the Mayor and Task Force a host of sustainability metrics and data within each program topic, and discussed short and long-term projects and goals designed to continue making progress in each of those areas. The various Working Groups are charged with engaging and leveraging the vast technical expertise in the community in support of the City’s goals, which include the formation of a public utility capable of delivering advanced energy solutions. (more…)
In support of its human factors work on the DOE-India microgrid pilot feasibility study, MSL convened a cross-sector workshop of a dozen experts drawn from a broad range of relevant disciplines and on-the-ground experience. The highly successful workshop was co-facilitated and hosted by the Santa Fe Art Institute (an affiliate of MSL partner institution the Santa Fe Innovation Park) and its director Sanjit Sethi, an expert in “design thinking” and its application to many problem-solving settings. It featured a user-centered design approach to the Human, Social, and Cultural (“HSC”) factors bearing on successful technology and energy projects in rural community settings. Joining Sanjit in leading the session were MSL General Manager David Breecker, and Christian Casillas, who recently completed his Ph.D. at the Energy and Resources Group of the University of California, Berkeley. Christian did his field work in community participatory energy planning in Nicaragua, and also has practical experience in India. (more…)
A team comprising MSL, the University of New Mexico’s Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, NM State University, and NM Tech has been selected to submit the New Mexico proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, under its current EPSCoR funding opportunity. DOE’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DOE EPSCoR) is a federal-state partnership program designed to enhance the capabilities of designated states and territories to conduct sustainable and nationally competitive energy-related research. DOE EPSCoR addresses this mission by fostering competitions for scientific and engineering research in states and territories that have demonstrated a commitment to develop their research bases and to improve the quality of science and engineering research conducted at their universities and colleges. The New Mexico proposal will focus the state’s considerable assets and capabilities on accelerating the deployment of Utility Distribution Microgrids, including technical and engineering challenges, standardization goals, and policy, regulatory, and social factors. Utility Distribution Microgrids will be critical enabling infrastructure for the nation’s overall grid modernization and smart grid efforts. (more…)