To fulfill the mission of the GridSTAR Center to advance smart grid education and research specific objectives have been formulated.
Key Strategies and Objectives for Success
Four key strategies will be employed to ensure the success, broad impact, and long term sustainability of the GridSTAR Center. Objectives for each are outlined below.
Address a significant market need: The GridSTAR Center will complement smart grid workforce development efforts in power systems engineering and skilled trade training programs by focusing on the need for a portfolio of continuing education products targeting engineering and project management fields. By developing a regional and eventually a national presence in smart grid continuing education, the GridSTAR Center will develop marketable products for broad dissemination that will generate revenue supporting a long-term sustained effort as an education provider.
Capitalize on synergies with recently awarded U.S. Department of Energy Centers: Penn State has recently been awarded funds to establish multiple programs that will be co-located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Penn State Center – Pittsburgh, generating synergistic value for the GridSTAR Center. These include the Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center and the Solar Resource and Training Center, and pending awards including a Smart Grid Demonstration and other projects. The GridSTAR Center will provide a mechanism to leverage these awards to develop critical mass in energy research, technology transfer, commercialization, and workforce development centered on clean, green energy advancements in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Capitalize on existing utility and manufacturing partners: Penn State has forged unique partnerships with key players in the smart grid and energy industries that have contributed to the GridSTAR Center concept proposal and have pledged to support the ongoing activities of the center. These partnerships include: (1) Utilities such as PECO, who have been awarded smart grid deployment awards; (2) Leading manufacturing and technology firms such as General Electric and Lockheed Martin, which have expansive interaction in multiple sectors of the smart grid marketplace; and, (3) Workforce training infrastructures including NECA/IBEW, Pennsylvania Technical College, and community colleges.
Integrate engineering and workforce development competencies: The implementation of the GridSTAR Center will combine the content expertise of the assets found throughout the Penn State systems including the College of Engineering, Cooperative Extension and Outreach through our Office of Economic and Workforce Development. This comprehensive and interdisciplinary partnership will contribute to the formation of a nimble entity that will be responsive to emerging technical issues and topics in the smart grid industry.