The University of Central Florida (UCF) has been awarded $3.2 million to lead one of four national consortia to develop distributed technologies to prepare for a national shift from traditional sources of electricity to renewables such as solar and wind.
UCF’s winning proposal, Foundations for Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER), is part of a broader US Department of Energy (DOE) investment of $12 million to increase the nation’s capacity to support distributed energy technologies.
The FEEDER center will bring together seven universities (Auburn University, Florida State University, University of Arkansas, UCF, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, and University of South Carolina), eight utility companies (including Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, Southern Company, Orlando Utility Commission), two national laboratories (National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory), and eight industry partners (including Siemens, SAIC, LEIDOS, Schneider) to speed up the development of technologies needed to prepare the nation’s electric grid to operate on renewable energy sources.
Specifically, the FEEDER center will research technological components such as distributed control, optimization, advanced communication, renewable generation and smart grid, to transform the electric grid. It will also focus on education by establishing cross-institutional Smart Grid curriculum, facilitating research collaborations among the academic, utility and industrial partners, and incorporating the latest research findings into new educational materials.