Army Contracts for Work on Cold Region Microgrids

Jan. 19, 2021
A Vermont university research institute program will prototype and test cold region microgrids with funding from two U.S. Army contracts. 

A Vermont university research institute program will prototype and test cold region microgrids with funding from two US Army contracts. 

The $1.12 million award given to Norwich University Applied Research Institutes will include funding for remote monitoring and cybersecurity with oversight from the Army Corps of Engineer’s Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory. 

“The importance of having a reliable energy grid in cold weather is something that every Vermonter understands,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “With this project, Vermont is again at the front of designing and developing microgrids that can be relied on in cold weather conditions, in the face of the forces of nature and malicious human attackers, and will teach this to the next generation of students.” 

According to Tara Kulkarni, director of the university’s Energy Resilience/Arctic Microgrid Program, there are three goals:

  • To create generational change by ensuring that undergraduates are at the forefront of energy resilience innovations
  • To support mid-career officers by identifying and addressing gaps in their energy education
  • To bring together senior leaders in roundtables to share findings with them for future strategic changes and to lean on their expertise and experience for a shared vision of energy resilience.

Norwich’s research institute and Center for Global Resilience and Security are also developing various energy resilience education opportunities as part of this program.

According to the university’s announcement, an earlier, completed cold weather proposal called for building an educational foundation for energy resilience at military installations in municipal, state, national and global ecosystems. 

Phil Susmann, university president, said that they will leverage their team of experts to support developing energy resilience and microgrid systems for future use in the Arctic and other environments. This work aligns with their goal to serve the national public interest by studying critical national security issues.

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About the Author

Sharon Bennett

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