DOE Partners to Test Advanced Energy Technologies for Utilities

April 20, 2011

DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has signed a partnership deal that focuses on the electric power utility industries in the United States and abroad to identify opportunities for testing and deploying ARPA-E funded grid projects. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) DOE announced on April 14, ARPA-E, Duke Energy, and the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will seek to expand cutting-edge smart grid developments, including grid-scale energy storage, power electronics, and energy efficient cooling technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, ARPA-E will facilitate the exchange of information between ARPA-E-supported projects, EPRI, and Duke Energy, which delivers energy to approximately four million customers in five states. Duke Energy could deploy and test ARPA-E technologies at various power plants or wind farms. The technologies may also be studied either at the company's McAlpine substation, a test bed for renewable, grid storage, and smart grid technologies, or at the company's Envision Center, a smart grid demonstration and testing facility in Erlanger, Kentucky.

EPRI, whose members represent more than 90% of the electricity generated in the United States, will offer test-bed facilities at two of its research facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee. The sites are used for tests on consumer electronics, lightings, smart grid components, heating and cooling systems, and electric vehicle infrastructure requirements. See the DOE press release and the ARPA-E website.