The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced its latest DOE user facility, the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) that focuses on utility-scale clean energy grid integration.
The facility sits on 182,500-square-feet of land in Golden, Colorado, and the DOE calls ESIF the first facility in the U.S. where both public and private sector researchers scale-up clean energy technologies. Technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicles and efficient home appliances are tested at utility scale to show they interact with each other and the grid.
Congress allotted $135 million to build the facility and provide some of the world’s best tools. The 2014 fiscal year budget will provide an additional $20 million to ESIF for facility operations. The DOE is extending ESIF’s resources to other labs and utilities, manufacturers, and universities. More than 15 experimental laboratories and several outdoor test beds are available in the facility.
ESIF’s first industry partner Advanced Energy Industries is working on creating better solar power inverters, which is the technology accountable for numerous crucial functions of a solar photovoltaic system.
To explore the design of NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility, NREL offers an interactive graphic on ESIF’s labs and capabilities.
Source: Energy Department, NREL Announce New Research Center to Boost Clean Energy Technologies on a Smarter Grid, U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Systems Integration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory