Forty students and faculty from universities across the country are expected to participate in a first annual, one-day student-centered conference on April. The premiere event, is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy's new program: Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Development, or "GEARED." A $25,000 grant from Pacific Gas & Electric is underwriting much of the students' costs associated with the conference.
The event will include a student poster session and a 'Smart Grid and Distributed Technologies Seminar,' which will feature a panel discussion on 'Challenges to Students in Transforming the Electric Utility Grid,' led by utility, industry, and national laboratory leaders. About half of the students attending will be presenting posters on research projects.
Student and faculty attendees will also have the opportunity to network with professionals at a reception held in conjunction with the opening of the Solar Electric Power Association's annual Utility Solar Conference, April 28-30, and will participate in the first day of that conference, which is focused on the theme "Building a Solar Smart Utility." The coordinated conferences are both at the Newport Beach Marriott, Newport, California.
"Co-locating the meetings allows us to bring together the students in power engineering programs with electric utility practitioners at a time when both groups are responding to the challenges of an increasingly decentralized and diverse grid," said Bob Gibson, vice president of education and outreach for the Solar Electric Power Association. "We especially want to thank Pacific Gas & Electric for its generous support of the GEARED conference, making it possible for us to capitalize on this synergy between academics and industry."
A part of DOE's SunShot Initiative, GEARED is administered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the Solar Electric Power Association.