Category: research

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…)



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…)



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…)



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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$24 Million for NM SMART Grid Center

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…)



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…)



MSL, UNM Propose Transit Systems Research

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 Announces Santa Fe Training Center

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…)