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WVU engineer aims to increase the use and reliability of carbon free electricity systems

Anurag Srivastava, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the Statler College

Anurag Srivastava has been awarded nearly $600,000 in funding to conduct research on ways to increase the use and reliability of carbon free electricity systems. (WVU Photo/Paige Nesbit)

Anurag Srivastava, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the Statler College, is conducting research supported by two research grants totaling nearly $600,000 from the Department of Energy. 

Story by Brittany Furbee, Communications Specialist

Photos by J. Paige Nesbit, Marketing Director

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—

Srivastava received $308,000 in funding to conduct research as part of the US-India Collaborative for Smart Distribution System with Storage (UI-ASSIST) project. West Virginia University will join a consortium of over 30 organizations from the United States and India that will be contributing to UI-ASSIST to create a more advanced energy distribution grid with integration of energy storage and renewable distributed energy resources. 

The objective of the project is to develop energy distribution grids that will allow for the increased use of distributed energy resource systems, which are used to help lower emissions, improve fuel utilization, and enhance the reliability of local energy system and to increase the overall use of carbon-free electricity systems.   

“This project represents a great collaboration among universities, industries and national labs addressing a problem of national importance towards decarbonization and sustainable and resilient power grids,” said Srivastava.   

The project will also look to explore the integration of renewable energy sources into the present energy distribution model and demonstrate the benefits of using new tools for a distribution system operator, an emerging model for how electricity is delivered to residents and businesses.   

“We are happy to be part of this international efforts and contribute towards enabling decarbonized, sustainable, reliable and resilient electric distribution grid supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and Indian Department of Science and Technology,” said Srivastava. “Participation in this project will be a rewarding experience for our students and researchers to interact with a large team.”   

Srivastava received an additional $290,000 in funding from the DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Office to conduct similar research for the Solar-Assisted State-Aware and Resilient infrastructure System (SolarSTARTS) project in collaboration with the University of Utah.   

The SolarSTARTS project aims to develop and demonstrate a novel automated resilience management system (ARMS) intended to enhance the situational awareness and flexibility of solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into electrical energy. WVU will develop a physics-aware machine learning algorithm for anomaly detection and classification and will validate using cyber-physical testbeds.   

According to Srivastava, the incorporation of DER system, automation, remote control, and data acquisition technologies has the potential to enhance the capability of the power grid to withstand high-impact events, such as failure caused by natural disasters, that can adversely affect the continuous supply of electricity to customers. The growing use of communication networks and digital devices, however, has made power distribution systems vulnerable to cyberattacks.  

“Our research develops and demonstrates an integrated, scalable, and cost-effective automated solution for enhancing the resilience of U.S. critical infrastructure,” said Srivastava. “This is an important technology development and demonstration project, and we are glad to be working with key collaborators to enable a sustainable, decarbonized and resilient electric grid.” 


-WVU-

bmf/09/12/22

Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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