Category: R&D

Energy Sovereignty Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology Welcome PhD Student

We are delighted to announce that Sherralyn Sneezer (Navajo/Dine) has been selected from a highly competitive field of applicants as our first PhD student in energy sovereignty research topics, via MSL’s  Energy Sovereignty Institute and its partnership with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology. Sherralyn’s research will be supervised by Dr. Nathan Williams, an Assistant Professor at the Golisano Institute, in collaboration with MSL.
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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…)



Alaska Center for Energy & Power, Alaska Microgrid Group join MSL

MSL is pleased to announce that the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) has joined its Member consortium. ACEP is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Center provides leadership in developing energy systems for islanded, non-integrated electric grids and their associated oil-based heating systems.

 

ACEP, which has a long and distinguished track record in energy innovation, is also joined in the MSL consortium by a new organization, the Alaska Microgrid Group (AMG). AMG is a non-profit established to support implementation of resilient, robust, and affordable local power systems around the world. (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…)



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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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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“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…)