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Epri opens smart grid R&D centre in Dublin

Steve Rogerson
March 20, 2019

The California-based Electric Power Research Institute (Epri) is opening a European research and development centre in Dublin to explore smart grid technology.
Under the name Epri Europe, it aims to expand collaborative research and development programmes in Europe.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Epri Europe will participate in consortiums for research projects in Europe that align with Epri and industry research priorities and roadmaps. By broadening European engagement with this research, Europe’s technology and thought leaders can work with Epri to enhance collaborative energy and environment research for Epri members and energy sector stakeholders around the world.
“Epri considers Ireland a centre for electricity sector innovation and testing for utility systems, making it an ideal setting for European R&D collaboration,” said Mike Howard, Epri president and CEO. “Likewise, Europe has emerged as a pivotal testing ground for the broader integration of energy systems overall into what Epri calls the integrated energy network.”
Epri’s established relationships with Irish researchers and its focus on technical innovation with Irish electric utilities were important factors in its decision to establish the centre in Dublin.
“Ireland is now one of the leading countries in the world in integrating renewable technologies onto its electricity grid and Epri’s decision to locate its European research operations out of Dublin aligns with our work to date in this area,” said Richard Bruton, Ireland’s minister for communications, climate action and environment. “Their expertise in smart grids and electricity systems will ensure that our generation companies, transmission system operator and research institutions stay at the cutting edge of this critical energy research sector.”
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan speaking in Boston added: “Epri's decision to establish its European base in Ireland illustrates our reputation as one of the leading research, development and innovation locations in the world. We have an exceptional level of collaboration between industry, academia, state agencies and regulatory authorities and believe Epri Europe will help to progress its work relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity."
And Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the Irish government, said: “I am delighted to welcome this expansion on the existing Epri relationship with Ireland, which builds on the relationship with the UCD Energy Institute and the MaREI SFI Research Centre. We look forward to developing new and innovative ways of working with Epri on energy research.”
Epri conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, non-profit organisation, it brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. The institute’s members represent approximately 90 per cent of the electricity generated and delivered in the USA, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. Its principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lenox, Massachusetts.