New Mexico State University Receives Smart Grid Grant

New Mexico State University Receives Smart Grid Grant

The National Science Foundation’s Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) has awarded a $5 million, five-year grant to New Mexico State University (NMSU) professor Enrico Pontelli to research intelligent technologies for smart grids.

NMSU executive vice president and provost Dan Howard notes, “Getting any NSF grant is an achievement. Workforce development is very important and I see this as a great opportunity for NMSU students.”

Pontelli is partnering with electrical and computer engineering department head Satish Ranade and other colleagues to study the development and use of smart grids to promote sustainability and develop a broad culture of smart grids at the University.

Ponteli says, “Smart grids represent the future of the electrical generation and distribution infrastructure, and present a number of challenges that the research community is trying to address. Smart grids try to make a directional relationship between power plants and customers by predicting when customers need electricity. If they had that information, production would be more efficient.”

The professor adds: “We want NMSU to become known as a hub of knowledge and we realized if we want to make a difference, we had to have an epicenter of research and training in smart grids. We have a great amount of talent at NMSU that can contribute to advancing the state-of-the-art in smart grid technologies.”

The Interdisciplinary Center of Research Excellence in Design of Intelligent Technologies for Smart Grids (iCREDITS) brings together a coalition of experts in electrical engineering, computer sciences, mathematics, management, and education. Pontelli and Ranade will act as co-directors of the iCREDITS Center. The staff is in the process of establishing an undergraduate minor and a master’s of science in smart grid technologies.

The College of Engineering is researching how to best manage, control, and protect electricity grids.

Ranade adds:“This technology allows you to use what you have smarter. It allows you to design things in a smarter way, and the ultimate promise is whether or not customers wants to do something with the information, it would be nice to know that when they’re using electricity at a premium time and the cost is high.”

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