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.
DOE will make three awards of up to $7.5M over a three-year period. In addition to the proposing team, the project will be supported by PNM and its facilities at Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque, and MSL Member Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities and its microgrid demonstration project. If awarded, MSL will serve as Project Manager for the entire state effort, working with Principal Investigator Professor Andrea Mammoli of UNM and state EPSCoR director Professor William Michener. In addition, MSL’s projects under the proposal include work on standardization, federated microgrid architectures, and the design of a microgrid testbed and visualization environment on the SFCC campus. SFCC will develop and launch a comprehensive Microgrid Workforce and Professional Development Center, working with the three universities for shared curricula and career pathways. The proposed project’s External Advisory Board includes representatives of Los Alamos, Sandia, Idaho, and National Renewable Energy Laboratories, PNM, Electric Power Research Institute, Smart Grid News, Green Energy Corp., and Duke Energy, many of whom are MSL Members.