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Rocky Mountain Institute Supporting National Effort to Understand Solar Energy Use in Addressing Reliability and Resiliency Challenges

The Solar Energy Innovation Network assembles diverse teams of stakeholders to research cutting-edge solutions for a more reliable and resilient electric grid.

Boulder, CO—April 10, 2018—Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) will be partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide technical and process design support for the Solar Energy Innovation Network, a collaborative research effort that inspires teams of diverse stakeholders to develop data-driven solutions that address the long-term grid reliability and resiliency challenges and opportunities associated with increased use of solar energy. RMI will serve as a project advisor to the stakeholder teams in collaboration with NREL.

“By working to develop and implement new energy solutions across various regions, the Solar Energy Innovation Network presents a blueprint for overcoming systemic barriers to a more resilient, reliable, and affordable electric system,” said Kristen Ardani, who leads the Innovation Network at NREL.

RMI will support Innovation Network teams by designing and facilitating interactive meetings where they can accelerate their projects, leveraging expertise from the national laboratories, expert nonprofits and peer projects in diverse jurisdictions around the country. Between meetings, RMI will support individual teams in identifying and addressing project and institutional barriers that hinder rapid progress.

“Advancing the adoption of solar energy can support the transition to a cleaner, more reliable and more customer-oriented energy grid,” Rachel Gold, a manager at RMI, said. “We are pleased to partner with NREL and the Solar Energy Innovation Network and build on our experience hosting the Electricity Innovation Lab (eLab).”

RMI’s eLab is a unique multiyear collaboration of leading industry actors to develop, implement and spread new solutions for a cleaner and more resilient electricity system. eLab was built on the evidence that as clean technology costs decline, the barriers to economic deployment of distributed energy resources are increasingly institutional or systemic rather than techno-economic. Overcoming these barriers will require multiple stakeholders, new ways of working together and support for experimentation and rapid learning.

As the teams begin their work, RMI looks forward to supporting their efforts to accelerate the transition to an electric system that delivers on the resilience, reliability and affordability that communities around the country increasingly demand.

NREL is operating the Solar Energy Innovation Network with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. NREL pursues fundamental research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to transform the way we use energy.

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About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

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