Energy grid engineering program launched
Missouri University of Science and Technology will receive $4.3 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative to develop power engineering curriculum and launch the Mid-America Regional Microgrid Education and Training Consortium (MARMET).
The award, announced Oct. 22 as part of the SunShot Initiative’s Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program, is part of $60 million in DOE funding that will help lower the cost of solar electricity, advance seamless grid integration and support a growing U.S. solar workforce.
“We are honored to be a part of the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative,” says Dr. K. Krishnamurthy, vice provost for research at Missouri S&T. “Missouri S&T already has a firm foundation in innovative energy research and this award will allow us to expand upon that.”
Missouri S&T will lead the MARMET Consortium. Other members include the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The consortium’s cost-share partners are Ameren, the City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and the Perfect Power Institute in Chicago.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the SunShot Initiative,” says Dr. Mariesa Crow, the Fred W. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Missouri S&T. “The primary goal of this consortium is to integrate cutting-edge research and advanced instructional methods to create a flexible, evolving approach to microgrid and distributed energy resources training for all levels of students.”
The consortium will do this by developing modular course material that reflects the newest trends in microgrid engineering and making them available in both traditional and non-traditional settings.
“It is our goal to develop course material that can be integrated into either existing courses or organized into new courses,” Crow says. The target audience for these courses includes technicians, contractors, consultants, inspectors, policy-makers, supervisors and engineers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.”
Working with Crow on the consortium are Dr. Jonathan Kimball, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Dr. Suzanna Long, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering, and Angie Rolufs, director of the Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engagement.
The DOE SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.
The program is designed to support the increase in power systems research, development, and analytical capacity while simultaneously growing the expertise and preparedness of current and incoming electric utility sector professionals for high penetrations of solar and other distributed energy technologies. In order to achieve this, Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) will support two activities: training consortia that focus on quickly bringing their findings into training and educational initiatives; and a national coordination network that will link these consortia to one another and other relevant power systems R&D and training activities.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.