Engineering Departments

Virginia Tech receives $1.25 million grant from DOE to take lead in developing, managing, and maintaining Smart Grid Inf


Saifur Rahman, Joseph R. Loring Professor of Engineering and director, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (ARI) in the National Capital Region,
Blacksburg, VA , October 15, 2009

Virginia Tech has been awarded a $1.25 million five-year contract by the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop, manage, and maintain a public Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) web portal that encourages use of electricity in an environmentally responsible way. Project partners IEEE and the EnerNex Corporation will assist with content which includes demonstration projects, use cases, standards, legislation, policy and regulation, lessons learned and best practices, and advanced topics dealing with research and development. The award, announced recently by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, is part of $47 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for eight projects to further smart grid demonstration projects in seven states.

Saifur Rahman, Joseph R. Loring Professor of Engineering and director, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (ARI) in the National Capital Region, is serving as principal investigator (PI) for the SGIC portal. “Virginia Tech is very pleased to be chosen as the only team in the United States to develop, manage, and maintain the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse web portal. This will give us the opportunity to interact with governments, industries, regulatory agencies, and professional associations -- both in the United States and globally -- who are actively engaged in this new technology,” Rahman said.

Manisa Pipattanasomporn, research assistant professor at ARI, will work closely with Rahman on the smart grid project.

The SGIC portal is designed to serve as a repository for public smart grid information and to direct its users to other pertinent sources or databases for additional data, case studies, etc. It will facilitate direct sharing and dissemination of smart grid information among various stakeholders on knowledge gained, lessons learned, and best practices. The portal will also serve as a decision support tool for both state and federal regulators in their deliberations for rule-making and evaluating the impact of their investments in the smart grid technologies and software.

“We envision the portal as the essential gateway that connects a smart grid community to the relevant sources of information that are currently scattered and distributed on the worldwide web,” said Rahman.

ARI (formerly the Alexandria Research Institute) is located in the Ballston area of Arlington, VA. It provides a platform for Virginia Tech's engineering and computer science researchers to interact with counterparts in academia, government, and industry in the National Capital Region and also serves as a gateway to the research and development base at the main campus in Blacksburg.

Written by Barbara Micale

Read related Virginia Tech stories:

Saifur Rahman appointed to one-year term on advisory committee to review National Science Foundation investments

Energy Efficiency Market newsletter interviews with Saifur Rahman about Obama’s energy proposals now available on podcast

Two grants awarded to Advanced Research Institute to study smart grid


Lynn Nystrom
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