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EPRI Summer Seminar

Each year, EPRI meets with executives and experts to discuss industry challenges and opportunities. Summer Seminar has played a crucial role in shaping EPRI’s research portfolio and the future of electricity worldwide.

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This conference focuses on gaining insights from the unprecedented investments in Smart Grid deployments with a focus on Smart Grid successes, surprises and challenges in applying results and reaching beyond current deployments and into the future phases of grid modernization.
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Renewables

Evolving energy policies, changes in power markets and regulatory mandates make it ever more important for electricity generators to include and expand renewable generation resources in their asset mix. As these renewable resources become increasingly integrated with the grid, environmental impacts relative to land use, vegetation management, species and ecosystem interaction and human health and safety must be considered.

EPRI is assessing the status, performance, and cost of renewable generating technologies and providing a variety of critical information for the comparison, selection, operation and maintenance of these resources.

 
 

 Spotlights

 
 

 Contact

 

For more information please contact:

Chris Mahoney
Communications Manager
Phone: 704-595-2653
Email: cmahoney@epri.com

Featured Research Wind Solar Biomass Geothermal Waterpower Resources

As electricity demand continues to increase worldwide and in the United States, the attraction of zero fuel requirements, low carbon footprints, regional on and off-shore potential, as well as mounting political and regulatory pressures, makes wind power an expected major player in future electricity production. While wind power technologies have advanced significantly in recent years, major obstacles continue to stand in the way of widespread deployment, effective integration within the electric grid, and sustainable long-term performance.

EPRI’s targeted research can improve the cost of electricity from wind turbines through analyses that detail essential components of turbine development projects, such as operation and maintenance costs. Increases in capacity factors, an understanding of grid integration with existing and future infrastructures, reliability performance and evaluations and reductions in environmental costs are part of EPRI’s efforts to offer insight on wind technologies’ expansion.

 

The large gap between society’s current use of solar energy and its underdeveloped potential represents a significant technical and economic challenge. Despite meaningful industry growth and technological progress, there remains a need for advanced solar technologies that will provide cost-competitive power. Steady improvements in materials, manufacturing processes, and scientific understanding are producing incremental cost reductions while solar innovations are anticipated.

EPRI’s research helps electricity generators understand key factors for photovoltaic plants to deliver high-value power and effectively integrate with electricity infrastructure as penetration levels increase. In addition, EPRI research allows for the development of innovative, concentrated solar power technologies and configurations that offer firm and dispatchable power at lower costs.

 

Power produced from biomass offers a renewable, low carbon option for dispatchable energy. Additionally, biomass can provide local economic support, co-product opportunities, and environmental benefits. Despite these advantages, overall development of biomass-based power is hindered by two critical issues: developing a reliable, sustainable supply chain and producing cost-effective power with high efficiency.

EPRI’s biomass research provides ongoing insight into the technical feasibility of biomass options, detailing the costs of those options, and examining the carbon footprint of biomass power.

 

Geothermal promises to underpin a robust renewable energy-based electricity portfolio for the future due to its potential as a base load generation source. Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) can remove current geographic limitations of geothermal by engineering the necessary conditions for geothermal power generation in vast areas where the full set of sub-surface requirements do not initially exist.

EPRI's geothermal research addresses many facets of geothermal power generation including resource exploration and assessment, power generation technologies and environmental considerations surrounding traditional and EGS systems. The broad R&D focus of EPRI allows for an understanding of the art and science of geothermal power generation and the value and potential risks of this resource for sound investment and planning decisions.

 

A focus on renewable and noncarbon-emitting energy sources presents new opportunities for waterpower development, including conventional hydropower, pumped storage, and emerging hydrokinetic energy from oceanic, tidal, and in-stream sources. Waterpower is challenged, however, by technology development and concerns related to fish passage restrictions, turbine mortality on downstream migrating fish, and other environmental and aquatic species impacts.

EPRI’s waterpower research assesses the generation potential, status, environmental performance, and cost of conventional hydropower and hydrokinetic technologies. Research includes national and international waterpower industry issues such as technology development and optimization, operations and maintenance, life extension and modernization, resource assessment, fish passage and protection, and environmental impact assessment and stewardship.