News

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…)



“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…)



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…)



Whole Energy Systems Transitions

A multi-organization team led by MSL has proposed the Whole Energy Systems Transitions (WEST) project for funding through a new program in New Mexico, the Collaborative Zone Grants. Created by three leading local philanthropies, the McCune, Thornburg, and Santa Fe Community Foundations, the grant “…is an opportunity for collaborations of organizations and other entities to apply together for multi-year funding to test, prove and support approaches to New Mexico’s challenges that extend beyond the mission of any single organization.”

The WEST proposal addresses the funders’ framing question, “What would an equitable energy transition look like for New Mexico communities?” Within that framework, the main issue the project seeks to address is that NM’s transition to a 21stcentury energy system – which we define as sustainable, resilient, and equitable – will have both universal impacts on all New Mexicans (primarily due to economic diversification from the state’s reliance on fossil fuel production), and also diverse impacts on the various different types and sizes of communities (rural, urban, traditional, Native American), and depending on their economic base and vitality.

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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…)