Category: Uncategorized

November 9th Briefing to NM Legislature on Decarbonization – Tune In Live!

MSL Advisory Board member Seth Blumsack (Penn State University and Santa Fe Institute) will be part of a panel presenting to the Water and Natural Resources Committee of the New Mexico Legislature on Monday, November 9th. Dr. Blumsack and his colleagues Cristopher Moore (Santa Fe Institute) and Jessika Trancik (MIT and Santa Fe Institute) will be briefing the Committee on a recent white paper, “The Energy Transition in New Mexico: Insights From a Santa Fe Institute Workshop.” The report was also co-authored by MSL Advisor Paul Hines (University of Vermont and Santa Fe Institute, CEO Packetized Energy) as well as a number of other contributors, including the Microgrid Systems Laboratory. (more…)



Distributed Energy Workforce Summit

In partnership with Santa Fe Community College (an MSL founding Member), MSL organized and produced the first Virtual Summit on Distributed Energy Systems Workforce on September 10 and 11, 2020. By all accounts the event was a great success, with nearly 100 registrants representing all sectors, and peak attendance of 45 participants. The online workshop focused on emerging workforce education, training, and job opportunities in Distributed Energy Systems (such as Battery Energy Storage Systems, solar + storage, smart buildings, microgrids, and the evolving smart grid).

Extensive presentations and original videos reviewed SFCC’s Smart And Microgrid Training Center and training Nanogrid (both developed in association with MSL), including a virtual guided tour of SFCC’s new distributed energy facilities, and a detailed look at the curriculum being developed there by lead Faculty Frank Currie. (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…)



MSL, Penn State, SFCC Team for DESTENI

Pennsylvania State University (PSU), a leader in microgrid and energy storage technology, distributed energy systems, and associated workforce training initiatives, has joined forces with Santa Fe Community College, supported by MSL and ProtoGen Energy, to develop the new DESTENI program (Distributed Energy Systems Technical Education Network Initiative). The consortium (convened by MSL) has submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education program for its initial funding in 2020, having reached the finalist stage of consideration last year.

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…)



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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New SFCC Faculty in Distributed Energy Systems

Santa Fe Community College (an MSL founding member for workforce development) welcomes Frank M. Currie as its new lead faculty member for the Distributed Energy Systems Program. This position is supported by the NSF-funded NM SMART Grid Center for a four-year term, and will lead the development of the program, curricula, and degree offerings in smart grid and microgrid systems technician training. 

Frank Currie is exceptionally well-qualified for this role. He most recently worked at Sandia National Laboratories (also an MSL member) in the Energy Storage Technologies and Systems group as an R&D Engineer and member of the Energy Storage Demonstrations Team. Projects included assisting with Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane recovery efforts, on which he co-authored a research paper. (more…)



SFCC Seeks Microgrid Faculty

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), an MSL founding member, seeks a qualified full-time faculty member to lead its Smart and Microgrid Training Center. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first position and program of its kind at an undergraduate institution. The job description is as follows: 

SFCC is developing the Smart and Microgrid Training Center as part of the National Science Foundation funded New Mexico SMART Grid Center. The center is based upon a “nanogrid”, currently under construction, that will power the school’s training greenhouse and will include the entire campus microgrid in the near future. The school is in collaboration with the Distributed Energy Systems Technician-Education Network Initiative to establish a national credential for modern grid technicians. The SFCC microgrid center is for testing and deploying microgrid technologies in addition to technician training and the college plans to continue to be a national leader in the field. (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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Energy Sovereignty Workshop with NM Tribes

The Energy Sovereignty Institute (MSL’s partnership with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative) will convene a workshop and summit of key New Mexico tribal energy stakeholders in the summer of 2019. This event will begin the process of developing ESI’s programming across a number of critical areas, deepening its resources in support of New Mexico tribes, and then expanding this model to national scale. The workshop is generously funded by Enterprise Community Partners and Cornerstones Community Partnerships.

The Institute is a social innovation initiative designed to promote the benefits of decentralized energy systems and technologies for Native American communities, and to advance their availability and use.  (more…)



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, Doug Orr, and Peter Ambs: (more…)