UVM Part Of National 'Smart-Grid' Research
11/04/10 6:20PM By Ross Sneyd
(Host) A new research partnership has been launched over the past of couple of days between Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Vermont.
Vermont utilities will also be part of the venture, which will be based at UVM.
Sandia is the U.S. Energy Department's national research arm, based in New Mexico.
The new collaboration will focus on new energy technologies, and how to connect renewable energy projects and conservation to the national electrical grid.
Rick Stulen is a vice president at Sandia. He says the work in Vermont is designed to help the rest of the country understand how to make solar and other power sources part of a reliable "smart grid."
(Stulen) "If we solve it in Vermont, we'll be able to solve it and replicate it in every other place in the United States. So there really are these common elements that even though Vermont is small, there are critical elements that in fact will impact other areas of the country."
(Host) Vermont already has begun building a "smart grid."
That's an electrical distribution system that can help consumers monitor their power use and reduce electricity consumption when there are peak demands.
Stulen says that's why Sandia decided to work in Vermont when Senator Bernie Sanders proposed it.
The initiative will be established at UVM as a university "center of excellence." It will be staffed by UVM faculty and students, representatives of the national labs and the state's utilities.