Powerful move as EPRI makes Dublin European hub for smart grid R&D

12 Mar 2019

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EPRI sparks up a Europe-wide smart grid research culture in Dublin.

California-headquartered Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is forming a new business entity in Dublin, EPRI Europe, which will be the central hub for an array of smart grid research projects in Europe.

EPRI Europe will enable the company to participate in consortiums for research projects in Europe that align with its industry research priorities and roadmaps.

‘EPRI considers Ireland a centre for electricity sector innovation and testing for utility systems, making it an ideal setting for European R&D collaboration’

The organisation’s president and CEO, Dr Mike Howard, said that by broadening European engagement with this research, Europe’s technology and thought leaders can work with EPRI to enhance collaborative energy and environment research for EPRI members and energy sector stakeholders around the world.

Ireland is a global smart hub for smart grid research

Howard said that EPRI’s established relationships with Irish researchers and its focus on technical innovation with Irish electric utilities were important factors in its decision to establish this important new research hub in Dublin.

“EPRI considers Ireland a centre for electricity sector innovation and testing for utility systems, making it an ideal setting for European R&D collaboration,” said Howard. “Likewise, Europe has emerged as a pivotal testing ground for the broader integration of energy systems overall into what EPRI calls the Integrated Energy Network.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, added: “Ireland is now one of the leading countries in the world in integrating renewable technologies on to its electricity grid, and EPRI’s decision to locate its European research operations out of Dublin aligns with our work to date in this area.

“Their expertise in smart grids and electricity systems will ensure that our generation companies, transmission system operators and research institutions stay at the cutting edge of this critical energy research sector.”

The Palo Alto-headquartered organisation conducts R&D relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. The independent, non-profit organisation brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment.

“EPRI’s decision to establish its European base in Ireland illustrates our reputation as one of the leading research, development and innovation locations in the world,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan. “We have an exceptional level of collaboration between industry, academia, State agencies and regulatory authorities, and believe EPRI Europe will help to progress its work relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity.”

EPRI’s members represent approximately 90pc of the electricity generated and delivered in the US, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years