The U.S. Department of Energy will fund a $7.3 million project to create online and in-person training modules for students and utility engineers on the integration of renewable energy and microgrids. A coalition that includes Missouri University of Science and Technology, NRECA and other academic and utility partners will provide $2.3 million of the total $7.3 million cost.
NRECA will make the training modules available to cooperative engineers through “Cooperative University,” an online learning platform.
The project was funded under a DOE initiative to promote renewable energy deployment: “Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment” (GEARED), part of DOE's Sunshot Initiative.
Electric cooperatives are increasing the amount of owned and purchased renewable energy capacity. In 2013, the co-ops’ collective renewable energy capacity (excluding federal hydropower) exceeds 5 GW.
The coalition consists of the following organizations:
- Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla, MO
- University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
- Iowa State University, Ames, IA
- Ameren Corporation, St. Louis, MO
- City Utilities, Springfield, MO
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- Perfect Power Institute