November 24, 2009

New Mexico Receives $6.5 Million to Find Ways to Make Electric Grid More Efficient

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that New Mexico will receive $6.5 million in grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to research technology aimed at making the nation's electric grid run more efficiently.

The funding is part of the $620 million awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy for projects around the country to demonstrate advanced Smart Grid technologies and integrated systems that will help build a smarter, more efficient, more resilient electrical grid.

"Our electric grid is outdated. We need to improve it in order to fully take advantage of renewable technologies, such as wind and solar electricity. With this investment, New Mexico will take on a greater role in advancing the cutting-edge technology needed for a smarter electric grid," said Bingaman, who as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee helped create the ARRA smart grid grant program.

"Implementation of ‘Smart Grid' technology can help transform our energy infrastructure in New Mexico," said Udall. "These recovery grants will help create the jobs of the future in our state and advance our use of abundant renewable energy sources like wind and solar."

$4.764 million Ktech Corp
Flow Battery Solution for Smart Grid Renewable Energy Applications - Demonstrate a prototype flow battery system that can be grid-connected, charged and discharged, and scaled to utility power levels. The project will combine the proven redox flow battery chemistry with a unique, patented design to yield an energy storage system that meets the combined safety, reliability, and cost requirements for distributed energy storage.

$1.755 million Public Service Company of New Mexico
PV Plus Storage for Simultaneous Voltage Smoothing and Peak Shifting - Demonstrate how a 2.8MWh Zinc-Bromine flow battery along with a sophisticated control system turns a 500kW solar PV installation into a reliable, dispatchable distributed generation resource. This hybrid resource will mitigate fluctuations in voltage normally caused by intermittent sources such as PV and wind and simultaneously store more energy for later use when customer demand peaks.

Last week, the senators announced that Sandia National Laboratory received $4.2 million from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act for improvements to its Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory.