"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 than 40 researchers (including new hires) will be involved across all institutions and activities. The research will focus on decentralized architectures, featuring microgrids at the utility distribution feeder level; associated networking, communications, data analytics and decision support; and economics and consumer behavior. In addition, MSL Member Santa Fe Community College will create related workforce training programs (LANL, SNL, and UNM are also MSL consortium Members), and will hire a full-time faculty in this area. Industry and utility partners include Siemens and Public Service Company of NM (PNM). New Mexico EPSCoR led the successful proposal effort, and will act as Project Director. MSL, which made significant contributions to developing the NM SMART Grid Center vision and approach, serves on the project’s Management Team, on two research teams (Systems Architecture, and Testing and Deployment), as an advisor on technology commercialization and innovation, and as coordinator of the SFCC workforce program. As stated in the project’s Strategic Plan, “MSL is a key collaborator that is a hub of microgrid collaborative activity with industry.” The Center is envisioned as continuing beyond the five-year grant period, and will be a focus of MSL’s research program within its full RIDE scope (Research, Innovation, Demonstration, and Education)"
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