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Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program was created late in 2013 to build a training and education framework that grows the expertise and preparedness of current and future electric utility sector professionals – specifically to accommodate high penetrations of solar electricity and other distributed technologies.

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Equally important, the GEARED program fills an urgent need for increased power system research, development and analytical capacity, and for integrating these findings into education and training.

The goal is to create a national network of centers that support power systems training and curriculum development based on research, development, data generation, collection, analysis and simulation. Working with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) serves as national network administrator (NNA) of GEARED.

Central to the five-year GEARED project is the Distributed Technology Training Consortia  (DTTC). Composed of three regional consortiums, each with multiple university, utility and industry partners, the collaborators are working toward the infusion of power systems analysis and R&D into training activities such as curriculum and short course development, internships and co-ops, and continuing education.

GEARED creates a network of professionals who come together to develop and widely disseminate content and curriculum for training and education programs that focus on system implications that distributed power technologies present. Via this network, the DTTC will identify and share training and education best practices and programs, as well as power system research and development.

Ensuring quality training of the next generation of energy engineers, system operators and utility professionals will be a key factor to lower the cost of solar electricity, advance seamless grid integration, and support a growing U.S. solar workforce.


The U.S. Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.  For more information, visit www.energy.gov/sunshot.

 

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