With an eye toward making Connecticut a national leader in clean energy, Eversource and UConn have extended their joint commitment to the Eversource Energy Center into 2028, with the energy company announcing Wednesday it will invest $14 million in the program during that time.
The extension, announced at a meeting of the UConn Board of Trustees, focuses on five research “pillars” – Resiliency, Reliability, Renewable Integration, Cyber Security and Community Engagement, Education, and Entrepreneurship. Through this partnership extension, Eversource will:
- Support the operational UConn weather and outage forecasting and optimal restoration management system for Eversource’s Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire service territories
- Support offshore wind energy research for the Revolution Wind and South Fork wind farms currently being developed as a joint venture by Eversource and Ørsted
- Expand the energy company’s substation flood early warning system to substations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
- Provide professional education to Eversource engineers through UConn’s Power Grid Modernization Graduate Certificate Program
- Engage underrepresented minority undergraduate students in all areas of sustainable energy research
“We share Connecticut’s goal of a greener energy future and are always focused on innovative solutions that benefit our customers and advance clean energy,” says Eversource President and CEO Joe Nolan. “We also applaud UConn’s expansion of our agreement to include and promote a diversity and inclusion undergraduate research focus among the pillars. Creating pathways for historically underrepresented groups in the clean energy industry aligns with our increased focus on racial and social justice.”
The Eversource Energy Center, which got its start in 2015, is a dynamic partnership between UConn faculty, students, and Eversource colleagues in which state-of-the-art research, technology, and software aim to solve real-world challenges for electric customers where weather, climate, and energy intersect. Current research areas include projects on storm outage forecasting, tree and forest management, electric grid reinforcement, resiliency, climate change and flooding, geomagnetic disturbances, integration of renewable generation, and cyber security.
“It’s an honor to expand on the crucial work we are doing in collaboration with Eversource, which has benefited millions of people across the New England region,” says UConn Eversource Energy Center Director Emmanouil Anagnostou. “This collaboration is a model for how private industry and academia can work seamlessly, blending cutting edge research with real-world challenges where weather, resilience and energy intersect.”
The center’s efforts will help to make Connecticut a national leader in clean energy as it works to accelerate research and adoption of blended energy sources, including solar, wind, hydrogen, fuel cell, hydro, and legacy sources, and to further modernize the regional power grid. The extended partnership will also help make the Eversource electric distribution system among the most reliable through enhanced storm preparedness and emergency response, system resilience, vegetation management, and strategies to address climate change, while highlighting the UConn team as a national leader in these areas through basic science and applied research.
“Our on-going partnership with UConn and the center’s leading-edge research are helping us to further mitigate storm hazards, increase the reliability of the electric grid and secure a sustainable energy future for the people of Connecticut,” says Nolan. “This additional investment will further support the center’s advancements in multiple areas, further benefitting all of our customers.”
The Eversource Energy Center at the University of Connecticut is a partnership between New England’s largest energy provider and the School of Engineering; the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources; and the School of Business, located in the Innovation Partnership Building at UConn Tech Park. The partnership, established in 2015, is dedicated to using cutting-edge research to solve real-world challenges where weather, security, and energy intersect.