Category: Innovation

MSL Leads Resilient El Rito Project

MSL is leading the Resilient El Rito project, a proposed community resilience microgrid project in the  village of El Rito, NM, based on and around the El Rito campus of Northern New Mexico College (NNMC). The village is at the end of a single electric power distribution line that traverses mountainous terrain and wilderness, and is subject to reliability and resilience challenges common to rural isolated areas, including climate-induced wildfires and winds. The project is a collaboration between NNMC and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), the local electric utility, advised by Camus Energy (KCEC’s technology partner) and MSL. (more…)



City of Albuquerque, NM Joins MSL

MSL welcomes the City of Albuquerque (CABQ), NM to its Member consortium. CABQ is the first municipality to join MSL, and has distinguished itself in its programs and projects for sustainability, energy innovation, and grid modernization, including several planned municipal resilience microgrid projects.

Albuquerque (a winner of the American Climate Cities Challenge) is a leader in equitable, long term environmental solutions. The City is committed to use 100% renewable energy for municipal operations by 2025, and is on track to be one of the top ten U.S. cities powered by renewable energy. (more…)



MSL Supports NM Grid Modernization

On January 12, 2021 MSL joined Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and KCEC’s technology partner Camus Energy for a presentation and webinar entitled “Grid Modernization and Technology for the New Mexico Energy Transition.” The event was oriented toward the state’s grid modernization community, with a focus on agency staff, regulators, and utilities. It was well attended and received, and stimulated a vigorous discussion during the Q&A portion.

KCEC (an MSL consortium Member) is an Electric Distribution Cooperative serving Taos, Colfax, and Rio Arriba Counties with innovative programs, and plans to deploy distributed and renewable energy resources throughout its system.  (more…)



November 9th Briefing to NM Legislature on Decarbonization – Tune In Live!

MSL Advisory Board member Seth Blumsack (Penn State University and Santa Fe Institute) will be part of a panel presenting to the Water and Natural Resources Committee of the New Mexico Legislature on Monday, November 9th. Dr. Blumsack and his colleagues Cristopher Moore (Santa Fe Institute) and Jessika Trancik (MIT and Santa Fe Institute) will be briefing the Committee on a recent white paper, “The Energy Transition in New Mexico: Insights From a Santa Fe Institute Workshop.” The report was also co-authored by MSL Advisor Paul Hines (University of Vermont and Santa Fe Institute, CEO Packetized Energy) as well as a number of other contributors, including the Microgrid Systems Laboratory. (more…)



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…)



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…)



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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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…)