Category: Uncategorized

MSL Welcomes New Advisors

Three outstanding professionals recently joined MSL’s Advisory Board, expanding the scope and deepening the expertise within our network. Please join us in welcoming:

Scott Backhaus is currently the Coordinator for Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbance activities for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He previously served in multiple roles in his 20-plus years at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including Program Manager for the DOE Office of Electricity, Program Manager for DHS Critical Infrastructure, principal investigator for several LANL projects funded by the Office of Electricity, and team lead for LANL’s component of the DHS National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Group.  He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1997 from the University of California at Berkeley in the area of macroscopic quantum behavior.

Douglas Orr has served as Senior Director of Software Engineering at Google in the areas of Cloud, Google Apps, and Network Systems. He has extensive experience in developing software systems and computer security, and has also worked in the area of geospatial data analytics engineering with Descartes Labs, a Los Alamos National Laboratory spinout venture. He previously worked as Vice President Engineering for Arbor Networks in network security, and as Director of Engineering for Inktomi in application-level network management. He did his undergraduate and graduate work in Computer Science at the University of Michigan and the University of Utah.

Peter Ambs is currently IT Director for Presbyterian Healthcare. He was formerly Assistant Chief Information Officer for the City of Phoenix, AZ, where he was responsible for application delivery, utility technology, and data science solutions.  As the former CIO for the City of Albuquerque, NM, he helped take the City to a #2 top Digital City for 2017 (as ranked by the Center for Digital Government). His interests include IoT, AI/ML, Blockchain, Big Data, DevOps, Cloud, and Cybersecurity, and the integration of energy and smart city systems. He serves on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Tech Council, and on the New Mexico Information Technology Commission, and holds undergraduate and graduate degree in Information Technology from the College of Santa Fe.



Penn State partners with MSL, SFCC for Workforce

Pennsylvania State University (PSU), a leader in microgrid and energy storage technology, distributed energy systems, and associated workforce training initiatives, has joined forces with MSL and Santa Fe Community College to develop the new DESTENI program (Distributed Energy Systems Technical Education Network Initiative). 

The goal is to develop a widely replicable and industry validated Distributed Energy Systems Technician training program of curriculum components and certifications that will significantly advance the knowledge and implementation of education and training nationally in these critical emerging energy technologies.  (more…)



Kit Carson Electric Coop Joins MSL

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.

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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…)



SFCC, MSL Announce Partnership

Santa Fe Community College Announces Partnership with Microgrid Systems Laboratory

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2018

SANTA FE, NM – The Microgrid Systems Laboratory (MSL), a consortium focused on energy systems innovation, announced today its ongoing collaboration with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). MSL currently has 15 Member organizations worldwide, spanning the education, utility, industry, and research sectors. Microgrids are community-scale integrated energy systems, and SFCC is MSL’s primary collaborator for workforce education, training and professional development.

This collaboration has resulted in the creation of the Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center (BEAMTC), funded by grants and contributions from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the State of New Mexico, and Siemens Industry. MSL worked with SFCC to envision the center and solicit this support, and is currently coordinating its implementation. Training infrastructure and curriculum are in development, with the intent of offering coursework in fall of 2019. (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.

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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…)



Advanced Energy Centre Joins MSL

The Advanced Energy Centre at the MaRS Discovery District (a leading innovation center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has joined MSL as a Member institution, bringing its significant and synergistic achievements in microgrids and local clean energy systems to our increasingly international mix of collaborators.

The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC), founded in February 2014, is a partnership between MaRS Discovery District, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the private sector with CapGemini and Siemens as founding partners. The Centre’s mission is to foster the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Ontario and Canada, and to leverage those successes and experiences into international markets. (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…)



SteamaCo Joins MSL for Rural Energy Solutions

SteamaCo, a leading venture-backed microgrid monitoring and payments platform based in Kenya, has joined MSL and its efforts to drive systems-level innovation in clean “energy poverty” solutions, for those lacking dependable access to electricity. SteamaCo has built more than 30 rural microgrids throughout the developing world. The company’s technology enables microgrid owners to monitor performance remotely, and capture consumer payments via mobile phone-based payment platforms, thereby overcoming many of the major challenges of keeping rural microgrids functioning reliably and profitably.

As stated in a 2015 article in The Guardian, “This simple but fundamental transition stands to make investment in solar micro-grids a truly compelling prospect, bringing electricity to millions and giving local entrepreneurs the tools to thrive.” (more…)