Discipline: Computer Sciences and Information Management
Subcategory: STEM Research
Enrico Pontelli - New Mexico State University
Co-Author(s): Satish Ranade, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
The goal of the interdisciplinary Center of Research Excellence in Design of Intelligent Technologies for Smartgrids (iCREDITS) is to provide a new epicenter for research and training in smartgrids. The need for an evolution in current electric grids has been long recognized. Today’s power-delivery paradigm is centralized; the requirement of providing instantaneous power on request leads to a rigid management structure, with the installation of excessive, expensive and unsustainable electricity generation capacity. The vision of iCREDITS is to obtain sustainable generation capacity by shifting the paradigm from power delivery to energy delivery, using smartgrid concepts. In an energy delivery system, energy is viewed as a commodity, which can be produced, stored, and exchanged. Producers and consumers establish continuous negotiations, where, e.g., producers provide prices of energy and consumers provide energy profiles, until they reach agreements on scheduled deliveries of blocks of energy over specific time periods; in these scenarios, customers can themselves enter in energy exchanges. This paradigm will lead to better economic sustainability due to more efficient generation, transmission and usage. This vision accommodates the creation of small ‘microgrids,’ larger ‘customer-driven microgrids’ in a distribution feeder and, ultimately, the ‘smartgrid,’ which includes the generation, transmission, and distribution of the entire power system. While there is agreement that the energy delivery model will enable the smartgrid vision, there are profound challenges to its realization. The research focus of iCREDITS is to develop the fundamental science and engineering necessary for the energy delivery paradigm. The realization of the smartgrid vision requires solving a second fundamental problem: the dramatic shortage of smartgrids workforce, exacerbated by the lack of diversity in gender, ethnicity and cultural backgrounds.
iCREDITS builds on five objectives: (C) Create a Center infrastructure to enable interdisciplinary research and training in smartgrids, (R) Develop a research agenda to realize the energy delivery paradigm and sustain the design and development of smartgrids, (E) Develop a comprehensive interdisciplinary training pipeline in smartgrids, (D) Develop an agenda to promote participation of a diverse student population in smartgrids training and research, (S) Achieve international leadership in smartgrids research and training.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation, HRD-1345232
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,