Category: pilot projects

SFCC Educational Microgrid Commissioned

[Editor’s note: this news post is by Frank Currie, Lead Faculty for the Distributed Energy Systems program at Santa Fe Community College (an MSL consortium Member). MSL contributed to the microgrid’s conceptual design.]

After an extensive design and development process, the “educational microgrid” at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) – also known as the “greenhouse microgrid” and the “nanogrid” – was tested, validated, and commissioned for operation in July, 2021. The system comprises an 11,000 square-foot greenhouse, a classroom/lab building, and several distributed energy resources. As of late 2019, the greenhouse and the classroom were fed from the campus electrical distribution system and a small (12kW) PV tracking array that had been built near the greenhouse also fed into the campus distribution system. (more…)



Camus Energy Joins MSL Consortium

We are excited to announce that Camus Energy, a leader in advanced grid management software, has joined the MSL Member consortium. With a mission of “transforming the grid for a zero-carbon future,” Camus complements the MSL network’s strengths in research centers, utilities, and NGOs with its unparalleled software engineering skills and distributed systems expertise, developed over decades of senior network engineering management experience at ultra-high-performance technology companies such as Google. (more…)



Update: Resilient El Rito Project Applies for NM Grid Modernization Grant

Update: Resilient El Rito has completed its design phase, and based on the results of the Sandia National Laboratories modeling (see below) is now entering the engineering phase. The project partners have applied to the NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for a Grid Modernization Pilot Project grant to cover engineering requirements, and all other prerequisites to achieve “shovel ready” status, in anticipation of availability of federal infrastructure funds in the near future. (more…)



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 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…)



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.

(more…)



Whole Energy Systems Transitions

A multi-organization team led by MSL has proposed the Whole Energy Systems Transitions (WEST) project for funding through a new program in New Mexico, the Collaborative Zone Grants. Created by three leading local philanthropies, the McCune, Thornburg, and Santa Fe Community Foundations, the grant “…is an opportunity for collaborations of organizations and other entities to apply together for multi-year funding to test, prove and support approaches to New Mexico’s challenges that extend beyond the mission of any single organization.”

The WEST proposal addresses the funders’ framing question, “What would an equitable energy transition look like for New Mexico communities?” Within that framework, the main issue the project seeks to address is that NM’s transition to a 21stcentury energy system – which we define as sustainable, resilient, and equitable – will have both universal impacts on all New Mexicans (primarily due to economic diversification from the state’s reliance on fossil fuel production), and also diverse impacts on the various different types and sizes of communities (rural, urban, traditional, Native American), and depending on their economic base and vitality.

(more…)



Energy Sovereignty Institute In Development

Building on a successful workshop in January of 2018, MSL has partnered with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC) to form the Energy Sovereignty Institute (ESI). ESI is a not-for-profit social initiative, designed to promote the benefits of decentralized energy systems and technologies for Native American communities, and to advance their availability and use.

SNCC focuses on culturally and environmentally sustainable development with American Indian, First Nations, and Indigenous communities. As sustainable energy, housing, and community design are inextricably woven together in any effective development framework, SNCC and MSL combine the needed skills, experience, and networks to advance a shared mission and agenda. (more…)



Tribal Energy Sovereignty Program

Kicking off 2018 with a new market innovation initiative, MSL organized and co-hosted an inaugural workshop on Tribal Energy Sovereignty in January. This half-day roundtable offered a survey of relevant concepts and factors bearing on energy independence for indigenous communities, including technology, finance, regulations, economic and workforce, and cultural aspects. Based on the positive input received and level of participation and engagement, we will now assess the feasibility of launching a national program to support Native American communities in their quest for energy sovereignty, with a focus on community microgrids.

(more…)