Virginia Tech has been awarded a $1.25 million five-year contract by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop, manage, and maintain a public Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) Web portal that encourages use of electricity in an environmentally responsible way. Project partners IEEE and the EnerNex Corp. will assist with content, which includes demonstration projects, use cases, standards, legislation, policy and regulation, lessons learned and best practices, and advanced topics dealing with research and development. The award, announced recently by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, is part of $47 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for eight projects to further smart grid demonstration projects in seven states.
Saifur Rahman, the Joseph R. Loring Professor of Engineering and director of the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (ARI) in the National Capital Region, is principal investigator for the SGIC portal. "Virginia Tech is very pleased to be chosen as the only team in the United States to develop, manage, and maintain the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse Web portal. This will give us the opportunity to interact with governments, industries, regulatory agencies, and professional associations — both in the United States and globally — who are actively engaged in this new technology," Rahman says.
Manisa Pipattanasomporn, research assistant professor at ARI, will work closely with Rahman on the smart grid project.
The SGIC portal is designed to serve as a repository for public smart grid information and to direct its users to other pertinent sources or databases for additional data, case studies, etc. It will facilitate direct sharing and dissemination of smart grid information among various stakeholders on knowledge gained, lessons learned, and best practices. The portal will also serve as a decision support tool for both state and federal regulators in their deliberations for rule-making and evaluating the impact of their investments in the smart grid technologies and software.
"We envision the portal as the essential gateway that connects a smart grid community to the relevant sources of information that are currently scattered and distributed on the Worldwide Web," says Rahman.