image: FREEDM Systems Center
The move to modernize the United States' power transmission grid so that renewable energy can more easily deliver on its potential is one which gained some steam in the past week: The National Science Foundation announced that North Carolina State University will host the NSF's Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems or more briefly: the FREEDM Systems Center. (Surely they could've gotten an 'O' in there somehow.)
The NSF will be supporting the center with an initial grant of $18.5 million, plus $10 million in "institutional support and industry membership fees". Exactly how will this new center be delivering us our (cringe) freedm?
Smart-Grid Tech to Be Developed
In the broadest stroke, the FREEDM center will be working to transform "the nation's century-old, centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid" that can easily store and distribute energy produced from solar panels, wind farms, fuel cells and other energy sources. This "Internet for energy" will enable millions of users to generate their energy from renewable sources and sell excess energy to the power companies. Researchers envision consumers using this "plug-and-play" system anytime, from anywhere."
Masters, Undergrad Programs, Pre-College Outreach Offered
In addition to doing smart grid research, the center will be offering a Masters degree and undergrad concentrations in renewable energy systems. Partnerships with 14 middle and high schools will also be formed to allow younger students to explore the latest research in alternative energy being done at the center.
Check out the FREEDM Systems Center website for more info.
:: NC State, College of Engineering
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