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US DoE chips in $7.5m to Indian smart grid project

Steve Rogerson
July 5, 2017
The US Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded $7.5m to a five-year project that will help advance the development of the power grid in India. Money will also come from the Indian Ministry of Science & Technology and industry partners, bringing the total spend to $30m.
This initiative, supported by the DoE’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability builds on the department’s commitment to fostering the reliable, resilient and secure delivery of electricity needed for strong US national security, economic growth and global leadership, as well as furthering the DoE’s collaboration with India under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (Pace).
“This new consortium demonstrates US and Indian commitments to ensuring access to affordable and reliable energy in both countries,” said US energy secretary Rick Perry. “We know that continued grid innovation will promote economic growth and energy security in the USA and India.”
The UI-Assist collaboration was selected as the consortia for smart grid and energy storage under the US-India Joint Clean Energy Research & Development Center (JCERDC). To help pave the way to a more advanced distribution grid that will allow for greater use of distributed energy resources, such as microgrids and energy storage, the consortia will bring together experts from academia, the DoE’s national laboratories and industry.
Together with their counterparts in India, the centre will conduct research and deploy smart grid and energy storage technologies that will help modernise the grids of both nations to make them smarter, while increasing resilience and reliability.
Through JCERDC, US installations and national laboratories will contribute their expertise and capabilities as India expands energy access to its remote areas, improves its grid reliability and resilience, and strengthens its energy security. In turn, US participants will gain insight from India’s grid modernisation efforts – a potential export market for US equipment worth billions of dollars – as well as promote researcher access to India’s grid operational experience.
UI-Assist’s American team, led by Washington State University (WSU), is comprised of MIT, Texas A&M University, University of Hawaii, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Snohomish County Public Utility District, Avista, Burns & McDonnell, Etap Operation Technology, Alstom Grid, GE Grid Solutions, Clean Energy Storage, ABB, Philadelphia Industrial Development and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Noel Schulz (left), professor in WSU’s School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) and WSU First Lady, is the principal investigator for the US team. Anurag Srivastava (right), EECS associate professor, is the US technical leader. Other WSU faculty involved in the project are Anjan Bose and Adam Hahn from EECS, and Christine Horne from the Department of Sociology.
“WSU is excited to lead the US team and collaborate with colleagues across this country and India to tackle the challenges of integrating renewables and storage for tomorrow’s distribution power systems,” Schulz said. “This project leverages the strengths of WSU’s Energy Systems Innovation Center and our power faculty and will provide national and international collaborations as we continue to advance our Drive to 25 to become one of the nation’s leading public research universities.”
The India team is led by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and includes IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Bhubaneshwar and the Energy & Resources Institute New Delhi.