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Lift-off at Colorado research hub

Grid integration of renewables a focus for Energy Department user facility

Lift-off at Colorado research hub image

The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have inaugurated the Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado, which will focus on the grid integration of utility-scale renewables.

Colorado-based Advanced Energy Industries has already signed on to start work at the latest Energy Department user facility, which is the first to support both public and private researchers. The company will work to develop a new generation of solar power inverters with lower costs and higher performance.

The 182,500-square-foot ESIF is sited on the NREL campus and will house more than 15 experimental laboratories and several outdoor test beds. It also boasts a petascale supercomputer that can support large-scale modeling and simulation at a quadrillion operations per second.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (pictured) said: “Our National Laboratories are a national treasure that help America’s entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate the development of new technologies.

“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.”

NREL director Dan Arvizu added. “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.”

Image: US government

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