Category: MSL news

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 the formation of a 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…)



X-GRID Acceleration Hub in Development

MSL has begun planning and development of the X_GRID Acceleration HubX_GRID is designed to accelerate national efforts to improve grid resilience and sustainability, while creating a foundation for strategic economic development in New Mexico, based on the state’s distinctive assets in the grid modernization arena.

The Need

In line with the urgency of the grid modernization challenge, substantial resources are being invested in R&D by the public, utility, and industry sectors. DOE’s Office of Electricity and Grid Modernization initiatives, the NSF-funded New Mexico SMART Grid Center, EPRI’s Integrated Grid initiative, and new technology introductions by industry incumbents and startups are making important progress.

But the difficulties of developing and deploying commercialized products are formidable, given the highly regulated and Balkanized nature of the industry, the premium placed on reliability, constraints on cost recovery, and lack of incentives for innovation. As stated in a recent report from Breakthrough Energy, Advancing the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation:

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Energy Sovereignty Workshop with NM Tribes

The Energy Sovereignty Institute (MSL’s partnership with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative) will convene a workshop and summit of key New Mexico tribal energy stakeholders in the summer of 2019. This event will begin the process of developing ESI’s programming across a number of critical areas, deepening its resources in support of New Mexico tribes, and then expanding this model to national scale. The workshop is generously funded by Enterprise Community Partners and Cornerstones Community Partnerships.

The Institute 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.  (more…)



MSL Welcomes New Advisors

Three outstanding professionals recently joined MSL’s Advisory Board, expanding the scope and deepening the expertise within our network. Please join us in welcoming Scott Backhaus, Doug Orr, and Peter Ambs: (more…)



“Reciprocal Innovation” Framework Planned

MSL has partnered with TFE Energy and Carnegie Mellon University Africa to plan the development of a “reciprocal innovation” framework, connecting the industrialized and emerging economies, in the area of distributed and off-grid energy systems. This framework will begin with a structured workshop, gathering global thought leaders from the technology, finance, and policy domains, and designed to promote creative and synergistic problem solving and sharing of ideas and inspirations. 

Carnegie Mellon, a leading U.S. research university, operates a campus in Kigali, Rwanda with a major focus on the emerging knowledge-based economy on the African continent. CMU Africa’s graduate programs are educating future leaders who will use their hands-on, experiential learning to advance technology innovation and grow the businesses that will transform Africa.

TFE Energy, a unit of TFE Consulting, is an EU- and Africa-based, values-led energy business, whose scope includes renewable energy technologies and energy access. TFE Consulting is an international advisory business supporting leading companies, investors, international lenders, organizations, and governments, with deep experience in Europe, South Asia, and Africa.  (more…)