Clarkson prof getting $400,000 in ‘smart grid’ research funds
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:31 pm

POTSDAM – A Clarkson University professor has been awarded $400,000 in funding for next-generation “smart grid” research.

Production of wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy is volatile and uncertain, a problem Clarkson Assistant Professor Lei Wu is looking to solve.

Wu is embarking on a five-year project that will provide a blueprint as the United States updates its electrical grid in the 21st century.

The National Science Foundation has given Wu a $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for “smart grid” research.

He will develop mathematical models and algorithms in order to find favorable sites for renewable energy facilities that will enhance the United States’ electricity delivery grid. The CAREER grant project begins Sept. 1 and continues through August of 2018.

The research will give power system operators and power companies more information to make better decisions, Wu said.

“We need some more rigorous research,” Wu said. “We’re trying to respond to some of the targets set by the government.”

It is hoped the research will reduce the unpredictability and variability sometimes associated with renewable energy projects, thus making them more feasible and widespread.

The grant will fund two graduate students who will work with Wu on the project. They may travel to teach power systems concepts to local high school students.

Wu, an electrical and computer engineer, has more than 10 years of experience in energy and power systems research. He has served as a consultant with the New York Independent System Operators organization to review their business management system and Energy Management System for power market operation in New York State.

Wu will collaborate with NYISO and the New York Smart Grid Consortium on the research.

In 2012, Wu received a Smart Planet Award from IBM to develop coursework based on his research of the future power grid to educate the next generation of industry leaders to use the technology.