The United States’ first major research facility dedicated to clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment has opened at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.
The new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is designed to assist “manufacturers, utilities and public and private sector researchers overcome the challenges of integrating clean energy and energy efficiency technologies into today’s energy infrastructure.”
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz says, “Strong partnerships between our national laboratories and America’s private industry, academia and entrepreneurs will help reduce the effects of climate change, increase the production of clean energy and accelerate the development of new technologies. The Energy Department has been at the forefront of large scale computation and modeling, and new NREL supercomputing capabilities will support the groundbreaking science and innovation we need to address the effects of global climate change and pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
During President Obama’s first term, the United States more than doubled its generation of renewable energy and the President has set a goal to double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020.
The DOE reports: “Seamless and efficient grid integration will help meet this ambitious target and make clean energy technologies even more affordable for American families and businesses. To that end, ESIF will tackle generation, transmission, distribution and end-use challenges to advance renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy storage batteries, microgrids and next generation building technologies.”
The DOE and NREL are also collaborating with Toyota North America on research focused on integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the power grid. “Scientists and engineers at ESIF and NREL’s Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility will use 20 Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota to develop and explore ways to prepare grid operators and energy infrastructure that accommodate the growing U.S. electric vehicle fleet.”
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