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Wanted: innovators, researchers and partners to advance Northwest energy solutions
3/5/2013 11:30 AM
The Bonneville Power Administration is looking for research partners to help advance the electric industry and develop technologies that improve the operation of the Northwest electric power system. BPA’s
Technology Innovation Office
is accepting proposals for its 2014 research and development portfolio until March 29.
BPA collaborates with electric utilities, researchers, universities and technology developers throughout the Northwest and across North America in research that addresses technology gaps and supports agency
. Many of these partnerships focus on initiatives such as advancing energy efficiency technologies and expanding the capability of BPA and other grid operators to balance variable energy resources.
Examples include BPA’s funding to develop a demand response market for Northwest commercial and industrial customers, to perform reservoir modeling for management of hydropower production, and to study the vulnerability of substation equipment in the event of an earthquake.
Many other initiatives are afoot with research partners that include the city of Port Angeles, Electric Power and Research Institute, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Fraunhofer Research Institute (Germany), Hitachi, Oregon State University, Powin Energy, Primus Power, Puget Sound Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Portland State University, Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Washington State University, University of Washington and others.
BPA’s research portfolio is updated annually, and for fiscal year 2014 the agency’s focused on investing in projects that advance transmission power flow controls, synchrophasor data intelligence, climate change streamflow models, energy efficiency and demand response.
“We’re looking for new ideas and approaches that have the potential to advance how we produce, deliver and consume electric power in the Northwest,” said Terry Oliver, BPA’s chief technology officer.
BPA’s research portfolio includes 51 projects with varying options for success in the near-, mid- and long-term. These stage gates trigger decisions for continuation, revision or termination, helping ensure each project is on course to accomplish its objectives. The agency also requires a 50 percent cost share with its partners. This robust screening and review process, Administrator Bill Drummond says, ensures BPA is not funding duplicative research and that the right investments are being made.
“Our Technology Innovation Office has pioneered a disciplined approach that ensures the agency is making shrewd investments in technology research on behalf of the people of the Northwest,” Drummond says.
BPA uses a two-phase process to select potential research and development opportunities. To share your technology innovation idea for phase one,
your concept paper along with information about your team’s qualifications by 4 p.m. March 29. Those who qualify will be invited to develop their proposal for phase two.
BPA expects to fund about $3.5 million of new research next year and will announce the projects selected for the fiscal year 2014 portfolio in July 2013. If you have questions about the submission process or would like to know more about the research topic areas, contact portfolio manager Sheila Bennett at
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