The goal of this project is to organize the first international workshop devoted to evaluating options for empowering microgrid with smart grid attributes with a focus on developments in the United States and Africa. The project is jointly funded by the Division of Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems and the Office of International Science and Engineering. The workshop will involve energy experts, researchers, and university scholars/students as well as policy makers and market players as participants and invited speakers at plenary and panel sessions. It will result in new understanding of renewable energy resource applications and microgrid development in U.S. and Africa under different environment and uncertainties in climate change and growing demand for electricity. Further, it will add to the knowledge base for new technologies for optimization and control of energy use to reduce cost as well as minimize greenhouse gases; increase the performance of renewable energy sources in development of smart microgrid systems; and social, regulatory and policy issues as they affect design and deployment of microgrid in different African countries and the United States. It will promote research, education activities and training of students from U.S. and Africa to accommodate the challenges of development of microgrid and smart grid technologies, and joint publication between U.S. and African participants in refereed journals and conference proceedings.
Understanding of recent developments in deployment of microgrid and smart grid both in the U.S and Africa will lead to a sustainable future energy delivery in the two continents. The workshop will expose the U.S. participants to the developmental work of the European and Asian microgrid developers in Africa, which will enhance the collaborative work between the U.S. and African researchers. In addition, it will supplement other efforts being made by U.S. and other international agencies to improve electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially with focus on increasing entrepreneurship and investment into renewable energy deployment in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.