News

Energy Sovereignty Institute Launches Resource-Base, PhD Program

MSL’s Energy Sovereignty Institute (ESI) is very pleased to announce the launch of its online information clearinghouse and resource-base at energysovereigntyinstitute.org, as well as a fully funded PhD opportunity with the Rochester Insitute of Technology.

The ESI website offers practical information to support the design and development of sustainable tribal energy projects. These include How-To guides for residential, community facility, and utility scale projects, as well as community microgrid systems. Resources include technical and funding information, case studies, and downloads. There is also a Discussion forum to support stakeholder communications. (more…)



Distributed Energy Workforce Summit

In partnership with Santa Fe Community College (an MSL founding Member), MSL organized and produced the first Virtual Summit on Distributed Energy Systems Workforce on September 10 and 11, 2020. By all accounts the event was a great success, with nearly 100 registrants representing all sectors, and peak attendance of 45 participants. The online workshop focused on emerging workforce education, training, and job opportunities in Distributed Energy Systems (such as Battery Energy Storage Systems, solar + storage, smart buildings, microgrids, and the evolving smart grid).

Extensive presentations and original videos reviewed SFCC’s Smart And Microgrid Training Center and training Nanogrid (both developed in association with MSL), including a virtual guided tour of SFCC’s new distributed energy facilities, and a detailed look at the curriculum being developed there by lead Faculty Frank Currie. (more…)



MSL Organizes CIVIC Challenge Team

MSL has convened and is co-leading a team to respond to the National Science Foundation’s CIVIC Innovation Challenge. In partnership with the University of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque, and with the participation of PNM Resources and community stakeholders, the CIVIC team is proposing an innovative approach to increasing the energy resiliency of vulnerable communities.

As stated by NSF, “The Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) is a research and action competition in the Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) domain designed to build a more cohesive research-to-innovation pipeline and foster a collaborative spirit…. (more…)



Tribal Energy Resource-Base in Development

The Energy Sovereignty Institute (MSL’s partnership with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative) is developing an online information clearinghouse and resource-base to assist Native American communities in energy planning and deployments. With financial support from Cornerstones Community Foundation’s Solar Initiative and Remy’s Good Day Fund, ESI will create a prototype platform designed to increase tribal members’ and energy planners’ effectiveness by providing ready access to useful information and resources, and to accelerate energy projects on the ground. (more…)



MSL, Penn State, SFCC Team for DESTENI

Pennsylvania State University (PSU), a leader in microgrid and energy storage technology, distributed energy systems, and associated workforce training initiatives, has joined forces with Santa Fe Community College, supported by MSL and ProtoGen Energy, to develop the new DESTENI program (Distributed Energy Systems Technical Education Network Initiative). The consortium (convened by MSL) has submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education program for its initial funding in 2020, having reached the finalist stage of consideration last year.

The goal is to develop a widely replicable and industry validated Distributed Energy Systems Technician training program of curriculum components and certifications that will significantly advance the knowledge and implementation of education and training nationally in these critical emerging energy technologies.  (more…)



X_GRID Tech Accelerator: Accelerated Progress

MSL’s grid modernization technology accelerator, the X_GRID Acceleration Hub, has successfully completed its initial development phase with two critical milestones: MSL was awarded a seed planning grant from New Mexico Gas Company’s economic development fund, to support the initiative’s next stage of research and assessment; and the initiative has also formed a robust coalition of key regional stakeholders. X_GRID is designed to accelerate national efforts to improve grid resilience and sustainability, while creating a foundation for strategic economic development in New Mexico and the southwest, based on the region’s distinctive assets in the grid modernization arena. The current coalition partners are: (more…)



MSL Teams for Midtown Santa Fe Proposal

MSL has joined a highly accomplished Master Developer and an outstanding team of collaborators on a proposal for Santa Fe’s Midtown District development. The “Central Park Santa Fe” proposal is led by Allan Affeldt, best known for highly successful restorations of historic hotels in New Mexico and Arizona. If selected by the City of Santa Fe, the Master Developer will be responsible for the site’s overall master planning and development. MSL would advise on the infrastructure’s conceptual design and implementation, featuring energy and integrated smart systems.

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New SFCC Faculty in Distributed Energy Systems

Santa Fe Community College (an MSL founding member for workforce development) welcomes Frank M. Currie as its new lead faculty member for the Distributed Energy Systems Program. This position is supported by the NSF-funded NM SMART Grid Center for a four-year term, and will lead the development of the program, curricula, and degree offerings in smart grid and microgrid systems technician training. 

Frank Currie is exceptionally well-qualified for this role. He most recently worked at Sandia National Laboratories (also an MSL member) in the Energy Storage Technologies and Systems group as an R&D Engineer and member of the Energy Storage Demonstrations Team. Projects included assisting with Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane recovery efforts, on which he co-authored a research paper. (more…)



Tribal Energy Workshop a Great Success

MSL’s Energy Sovereignty Institute (ESI, a partnership with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative) held its inaugural Tribal Energy Workshop in June, 2019.  A group of over 40 attendees and subject matter experts convened for two days to discuss a range of topics and themes related to energy development and transitions in Native American communities, and by all accounts found the sessions highly valuable in enabling them to advance energy planning with their tribes.

ESI is a social innovation initiative designed to promote the benefits of decentralized energy systems and technologies for Native American communities, and to advance their availability and use. Attendees at the 2019 workshop, which focused on New Mexico, included members of the Navajo Nation and the Pueblos of Cochiti, Laguna, San Felipe, Santa Domingo, Santa Clara, Nambe, Picuris, and Jemez, and also included seven student interns from Sandia National Laboratories’ Indian Energy Program. (more…)



SFCC Seeks Microgrid Faculty

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), an MSL founding member, seeks a qualified full-time faculty member to lead its Smart and Microgrid Training Center. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first position and program of its kind at an undergraduate institution. The job description is as follows: 

SFCC is developing the Smart and Microgrid Training Center as part of the National Science Foundation funded New Mexico SMART Grid Center. The center is based upon a “nanogrid”, currently under construction, that will power the school’s training greenhouse and will include the entire campus microgrid in the near future. The school is in collaboration with the Distributed Energy Systems Technician-Education Network Initiative to establish a national credential for modern grid technicians. The SFCC microgrid center is for testing and deploying microgrid technologies in addition to technician training and the college plans to continue to be a national leader in the field. (more…)