Department of Energy, Duke Energy and EPRI partner to test advanced energy technologies for utilities


Steven Chu,
Energy Secretary
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 15, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) has signed a partnership deal with Duke Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to identify opportunities for testing and deploying ARPA-E funded projects that will bolster the electric grid.

Under the agreement the partners will identify opportunities to expand cutting edge smart grid developments, grid-scale energy storage, power electronics, and energy efficient cooling technologies, among others. This new umbrella deal also will allow for similar partnerships with other utilities.

“ARPA-E technologies have the potential to lower utility customers’ energy costs and strengthen the reliability of the electric grid,” said Secretary Steven Chu. “This partnership with the utility industry will move promising technologies from the lab into the marketplace at a much faster pace.”

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 4 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 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, KY.

EPRI, whose members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S., will offer test-bed facilities at two of its research laboratories: a transmission and distribution research facility in Charlotte, North Carolina and at its Knoxville, Tennessee laboratory, where testing is conducted on consumer electronics, lightings, smart grid components, heating and cooling systems and electric vehicle infrastructure requirements.