UAlbany News Podcast Series: Envisioning a Clean Energy Future, with Richard Perez and Jeff Freedman

Richard Perez is a senior research associate at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC). (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 30, 2019) -- This month on the UAlbany News Podcast, we featured two faculty experts who are researching renewable energy sources.

Transforming the Nation's Power Grid

Richard Perez, a senior research associate at UAlbany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), and his colleagues have developed a blueprint for achieving 100 percent clean energy in the United States. His cost-effective solution bridges the gap between the production of renewables, such as solar and wind, and customer demand.

On this episode, Perez describes how oversizing renewable assets and energy curtailment, paired with changes in utility regulation, can help states reach their ambitious clean energy goals.

In order to transform the nation's power grid, the utility industry needs to undergo major regulatory change, according to Perez. He said it would take just 1-1.5 percent of New York's real estate to produce 100 percent clean energy via photovoltaics (PV).

"If you're a solar developer in the business of making money and building power plants, you have no incentive whatsoever to overbuild and oversize because for you, it's a loss," Perez said during the podcast interview. "The key is not technology; the key is intelligent regulation."

Headshot of Jeff Freedman
Jeff Freedman is a research associate at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC). (Photo by Patrick Dodson)  

A Wind Extremes Forecast System

For our second episode looking at renewables, we spoke with Jeff Freedman, a research associate at ASRC.

Freedman is working in collaboration with researchers and meteorologists at the Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Ed) and MESO, Inc. to create the Wind Extremes Forecast System (WEFS).

By combining numerical weather prediction (NWP) modeling with machine-learning techniques, the system produces real-time wind speed and gusts forecasts in an effort to minimize power outage impacts for millions of New Yorkers.

The project is sponsored by the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s Smart Grid program and will use data from UAlbany’s NYS Mesonet, a statewide network of 126 weather stations.

Freedman shares on this episode how WEFS will help utility companies and emergency managers mobilize resources more efficiently, reduce restoration time and improve the long-term resiliency of the state’s power distribution system.

Where else can I listen?

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