In the US, New York governor Andrew Cumomo has announced that state utility the New York Power Authority and SUNY Polytechnic Institute have signed an agreement to create the "world's largest R&D facility" for the development of the city's next generation electric grid.
The Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe) facility will used to simulate, develop and test smart grid technologies helping stakeholders to better understand how electric vehicles, microgrids and high voltage transmission lines work before these technologies are rolled out.
"By building a world-class research and development facility that is focused on improving New York's energy infrastructure, we are making a major investment in our state's future," said Mr Cuomo.
The facility supports the governor's 'Reforming the Energy Vision' plan and addresses Cuomo's Energy Highway Task Force - using public-private partnerships to help modernise and reinforce New York state's grid.
Re-evaluting the entire power system
A press statement released by Cuomo's office states that while energy research labs have commonly focused on simulation of developing technologies for advancing either transmission or distribution operations, the AGILe research facility will take a holistic approach by examining best practises for the integration of clean energy at generation level, as well as pursue its own-grid related R&D for more efficient utility T&D infrastructure.
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said: "The entire power system is changing at a fast pace, driven by technology and customer expectations. AGILe will represent a quantum leap forward in realizing the full value of central generation and transmission and distributed energy resources."
According to the statement: "Newer electrical technologies, such as advanced transmission system monitoring sensors, increasing electric vehicle station, and microgrids, need to be tested in an advanced laboratory setting before they can be deployed.
"By simulating the impact of expected changes to the grid, researchers can better understand the impacts and design system improvements to accommodate these emerging technologies and improve real-time operations."
Part of the R&D that will be conducted at the AGILe facility, will be focused on developing analytical tools to enable utilities to readily convert data from grid sensors to improve response times to challenges and or threats to the grid.
Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance in the Office of Governor Cuomo, added: "Research and development of smart-grid technology will ensure that sophisticated energy solutions are leveraged to harden electric infrastructure against physical and cyber threats, improve the efficient operation of the grid, and accelerate the use of renewable energy resources as we focus on building a cleaner and more affordable energy infrastructure."