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 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.
MSL has begun planning and development of the X_GRID Acceleration Hub. 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, based on the state’s distinctive assets in the grid modernization arena.
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:
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…)
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), a northern New Mexico provider of electric, broadband, and propane services, has joined the MSL Member consortium. KCEC is a member-owned 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.
For the past 75 years, KCEC has been providing electricity to its over 29,000 members, including two Native American Pueblos (Taos and Picuris) and six municipalities (Taos, Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest, Angel Fire and Village of Taos Ski Valley). In addition, KCEC has built out over 2,900 miles of fiber-to-the-premises fiber optic lines for high-speed data, internet, and phone services. KCEC will utilize this fiber and smart meter infrastructure to design and deploy a grid modernization strategy, using information and communications technologies to manage electricity more efficiently, and in support of its renewable energy goals.
New Mexico Research Institutions Win Major NSF Award
MSL joins universities and national labs for microgrid focus
The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to a consortium of research institutions to develop the New Mexico SMART Grid Center. With local cost-share, total funding for the five-year program is $24 million.
The consortium, comprised of the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, and New Mexico Tech, with Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Microgrid Systems Laboratory, will work toward modernizing the nation’s electric grid to become SMART (Sustainable, Modular, Adaptive, Resilient, and Transactive). (more…)
MSL, in partnership with Member organization the University of New Mexico, is co-lead on a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Communities Program. The project, entitled “Integrated Planning for Public Transit and Electricity Distribution Networks, In an Era of Autonomous Vehicle Fleets,” also involves the City of Albuquerque and its new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as a community partner, and is under consideration for $3 million in funding over a three-year term. This innovative integrated research project draws from UNM’s electrical, civil and mechanical engineering, computer science, economics, and architecture and community planning faculties, and includes behavioral, social, and data science elements.
Smart and connected communities everywhere will be affected by two major – and interrelated – infrastructure shifts, already underway: in the transportation sector, the shift to electric and autonomous vehicles (EVs and AVs) and fleets; and in the energy sector, the shift to decentralized and decarbonized electricity systems. Together, these will have profound implications for many aspects of urban planning and design. (more…)
Siemens has announced its partnership with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) to create a next-generation microgrid workforce training center. The announcement was made at the Microgrid 2017 conference, to nearly 500 senior industry participants. SFCC is MSL’s primary education partner for workforce training and professional development, and MSL will serve as Project Director to implement the program. (more…)
The Center for Emerging Energy Technologies (CEET) at the University of New Mexico has joined MSL, the inaugural research university in the consortium. CEET facilitates collaborative research in the inherently interdisciplinary field of emerging energy technologies, a perfect complement to MSL’s cross-sector structure. The Center is a meeting place for faculty, students and practitioners from the School of Engineering, other UNM divisions, and participants outside the university to work together to find the solutions to one of society’s most pressing needs: sustainable energy. In particular, CEET provides an environment to foster large-scale research efforts, involving Universities, Industry and the National Labs. (more…)
MSL is pleased to announce that Dr. Hisham Zerriffi has joined our Advisors, further strengthening our resources focused on solutions to energy poverty and clean energy development in the emerging economies. Hisham is an Associate Professor in Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry, at UBC. Hisham’s research is at the intersection of technology, energy and the environment, with a particular focus on rural areas of the developing world. (more…)
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