Category: research

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…)



Center for Emerging Energy Technologies Joins MSL

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…)



Hisham Zerriffi Joins MSL Advisors

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…)



NREL Teams with MSL, SFCC for Campus Microgrid

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is collaborating with MSL and Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in their efforts to develop an advanced campus-wide microgrid for training, research, and testing and validation. NREL is a member of MSL, and SFCC is a founding MSL partner with responsibility for workforce and professional development initiatives.

The campus microgrid will be a state-of-the-art facility, unique among community colleges and comparable to university campus installations, with an emphasis on supporting the college’s educational mission, sustainability goals, operational efficiencies, and MSL’s strategic objectives. It will link existing assets, including a 1.5 megawatt photovoltaic array and a district heating and cooling system, with new technology that is capable of demonstrating the full range of advanced microgrid functionality. (more…)



Former EPRI CEO Joins MSL Advisors

Kurt Yeager, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), has joined MSL as an Advisor. During his distinguished career at EPRI, he led the development of the Electricity Technology Roadmap and the Electricity Sector Framework for the Future. Following his tenure at EPRI, he led the Galvin Electricity Initiative, and has also worked with the MITRE Corporation, the EPA Office of Research, and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), for which he was the convening lead author for the Global Energy Assessment. (more…)



MSL Welcomes New Advisor

We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Seth Blumsack, Ph.D. as an MSL Advisor. Seth is Associate Professor of Energy Policy and Economics in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He is also Chair of the Energy Business and Finance program; Faculty member in the Operations Research program at Penn State University; Co-Director of the Penn State Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative; and is the John T. Ryan Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He also holds a position as an Adjunct Research Professor with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center and the Centre for Energy and Mineral Economics at the Curtin University of Technology in Australia.

Following a fruitful collaboration at a Santa Fe Institute workshop, co-chaired by Seth, on “Reinventing the Grid,” in which MSL Managing Director David Breecker was a participant, Seth agreed to join MSL’s advisory panel; and MSL is now working with him on plans for one or more extended cross-sector working groups and a 2016 workshop on the same topic. (more…)



MSL Director Helps “Reinvent the Grid”

MSL Managing Director David Breecker participated in the Santa Fe Institute’s invitational workshop, “Reinventing the Grid: Designing Resilient, Adaptive and Creative Power Structures” in April. Co-hosted by two visiting researchers on sabbatical at SFI, Seth Blumsack (Pennsylvania State University) and Paul Hines (University of Vermont), along with SFI internal faculty member Cris Moore, the workshop brought together a fascinatingly diverse set of experts from a range of relevant fields to consider the future of our power systems. These included industry and utility representatives, research scientists and engineers, policy and regulatory experts, ecologists, search algorithm designers, statistical physicists, and network theorists among others.

As the abstract states, “Electric power grids are complex infrastructures that operate across large swaths of space and time. A power grid’s planning and operation timescales can span up to twelve orders of magnitude: from milliseconds to decades. The largest networks, such as the Eastern US and European Interconnections, synchronize power plants across many thousands of kilometers. And this spatial integration is increasing: in many locations, the locus of control is moving from local electric utilities to regional entities. (more…)



Human Factors Report Available

Human, Social, And Cultural Practices Work Advances

MSL is pleased to announce that its inaugural research publication is available for download: Human, Social, And Cultural Practices For Rural Electrification Using Microgrids develops a critical set of insights and tools to ensure the success of rural microgrid (and other technology) deployments based on essential aspects of community engagement and input. This work was the subject of the MSL-hosted workshop in May 2014, and formed part of a Stage 1 feasibility study for rural deployments in India. MSL is now part of a consortium comprising MSL Members General MicroGrids, Inc. and The Energy and Resources Institute, along with Alstom Grid USA, India Smart Grid Forum, and India’s TERRE Policy Center, which is assembling funding for Stage 2 design and deployment work. In addition, MSL is developing the Center for Participatory Energy Practice (CPEP), and through it will support training and community engagement work in the field. (more…)