Energy Department Dedicates Clean Energy Research Center

September 18, 2013

A modern, rectangular building.

The ESIF on NREL's campus is the nation’s first major research facility focused on clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

The Energy Department on September 11 dedicated the nation’s first major research facility focused on clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment. Located on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) will help manufacturers, utilities, and public and private sector researchers overcome the challenges of integrating clean energy and energy efficiency technologies into today's energy infrastructure. The Energy Department also unveiled Peregrine—the newest Energy Department supercomputer. NREL collaborated with HP and Intel to develop an innovative warm-water, liquid-cooled supercomputer. Peregrine resides in the new ESIF data center, designed to be the world’s most energy-efficient high performance computing data center.

President Obama has set a goal to double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020. Seamless and efficient grid integration will help meet this ambitious target and make clean energy technologies even more affordable. To that end, ESIF will tackle generation, transmission, distribution, and end-use challenges to advance renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy storage batteries, microgrids, and next-generation building technologies.

As one of the first ESIF projects, the Energy Department, NREL, and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, announced on September 11 a collaborative research effort to integrate plug-in electric vehicles into the power grid. Scientists and engineers at ESIF and NREL’s Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility will use 20 Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota to develop and explore ways to prepare grid operators and energy infrastructure to accommodate the growing U.S. electric vehicle fleet. See the Energy Department press release.

The ESIF also made news on September 12 with a one-of-its-kind national secure data center dedicated to the independent analysis of advanced hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center (NFCTEC) allows industry, academia, and government organizations to submit and review data gathered from projects to advance cost-effective fuel cell technology. NFCTEC will also help accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell technologies by strengthening data collection from fuel cell systems and components operating under real-world conditions, and by providing analyses of these detailed data that can be compared to technical targets. See the Energy Department Progress Alert.