Virginia Tech to Develop DOE Smart Grid Portal

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University a $1.25 million, five-year contract 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 Corporation 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 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 said.

Manisa Pipattanasomporn, research assistant professor at ARI, will work closely with Rahman on the smart grid project.

The portal 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 World Wide Web," said Rahman.

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