Laboratory for Energy Smart Systems

The US power grid is aging fast and the societal and environmental pressures for clean energy are increasing more than ever. The aging power infrastructure poses major limitations on energy reliability and resiliency, especially in lieu of recent extreme weather conditions and the emergence of new load and electrification patterns in transportation, manufacturing, built environment and all other sectors of economy. At the same time, the costs of maintaining the power grid in a good state of repair and in its current vertical form will soon be beyond what public and private industry combined can afford. To meet these challenges and to ensure energy security and resiliency, the power industry, supported by extensive funds from the Federal government, has already started embracing major technological changes brought by smart grid and enabled by advanced IT and communication technologies. Microgrids, Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and advanced technological solutions to Demand Side Management (DSM) are being promoted by many communities, cities/townships and industry. DSM technology allows for end-users to take advantage of dynamic pricing and energy efficiency measures, and thus reduce the overall load, especially at peak times. DER technology brings renewables, natural gas-fired generation, combined heat and power (CHP) and energy storage to communities, thus avoiding expensive investments in new transmission and distribution capacities. DSM and DER combined provide the means of deferring infrastructure investment while delivering reliable and quality energy to communities and industry. The combined technology also allows for additional capacity localized to where it is needed the most with capital and maintenance costs that are significantly lower. California, New York and New Jersey are among the first states that are embracing these changes. In these and some other states, utilities have started running programs to communicate many benefits of DSM to their customers, and to find and demonstrate effective ways of adopting DER solutions. At the same time, many large and small communities are trying to figure out optimal ways of investing in DSM and DER. This project will provide seed funding for the newly established Laboratory for Smart Energy Systems (LESS) at Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). LESS brings together many years of R&D expertise on energy systems and plans to establish strong ties to industry and public agencies. Its mission is to work with communities and industry on how to effectively and economically implement DER and DSM solutions, so that their current and the future projected demands are met using clean and sustainable means.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Pagination: 7p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01637009
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CAIT-UTC-056
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC16
  • Created Date: May 31 2017 9:31AM