Smart grid integration just got easier thanks to new fed facility


By: SGN Staff

Quick Take: There a couple of things to like about the announcement below, which celebrates the formal opening of a new facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. First, the research center is focused on grid integration, an issue that hasn't received enough attention. Second, it is taking a "commercialization" slant. It will work less on fundamental systems and more on getting innovations from lab-scale to market-ready.


The facility was created to "help both public and private sector researchers scale-up promising clean energy technologies and test how they interact with each other and the grid." More and more utilities are working with grid-savvy labs such as NREL, Pacific Northwest National Labotory, Argonne, Oak Ridge and Sandia. Maybe your utility should explore the possibilities too. - Jesse Berst


Energy Department, NREL Announce New Research Center to Boost Clean Energy Technologies on a Smarter Grid

WASHINGTON - The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today announced the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in Golden, Colorado, as the latest Energy Department user facility and the only one in the nation focused on utility-scale clean energy grid integration. The facility’s first industry partner - Colorado-based Advanced Energy Industries - has already signed on to start work at ESIF, developing lower cost, better performing solar power inverters.


"Our National Laboratories are a national treasure that help America’s entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate the development of new technologies,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "This new facility will allow for an even stronger partnership with manufacturers, utilities and researchers to help integrate more clean, renewable energy into a smarter, more reliable and more resilient power grid.”


"ESIF is an excellent example of the impact that federally-funded research can have on solving national problems beyond the scope of private investment. And, it demonstrates the importance of partnerships among the federal government, industry, and academia,” NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. "With NREL's 35-year focus on developing competitive renewable energy and efficiency technologies, we’re pleased to take a leadership role in this next frontier of energy research.”


Energy Systems Integration Facility - DOE’s Newest User Facility

Located at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s campus in Golden, Colorado, the 182,500-square-foot Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is the nation’s first facility to help both public and private sector researchers scale-up promising clean energy technologies - from solar modules and wind turbines to electric vehicles and efficient, interactive home appliances - and test how they interact with each other and the grid at utility-scale.

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