For Media |

Public-Private Partnership to Boost New Mexico Jobs


EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE:
Until June 30, 2011

 

CONTACT:
Jack McGowan, 505-890-2888, jackmcgowan@energyctrl.com

Public-Private Partnership to Boost New Mexico Jobs
State Agency, Consumer Advocacy Non-Profit Reach New Agreement on Smart Grid Initiative

SANTA FE, N.M. —The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) and the Galvin Electricity Initiative signed on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that creates a public-private partnership to maximize the economic benefits of the New Mexico Smart Grid Initiative and other activities related to electrical grid modernization. The agreement covers specific activities, including assessments of technical progress, policy analyses and public education and outreach.

“New Mexico is establishing this cooperative partnership with the Galvin Electricity Initiative because we believe the pursuit of smart grid will create jobs for both current and future generations of New Mexicans,” EDD’s Secretary Jon Barela said. “New Mexico is blessed with all the necessary resources, such as those vested in our research universities and national laboratories, to demonstrate to the world how to modernize the electric grid through entrepreneurial innovation and new technology applications — creating jobs for our citizens each step of the way.”

The New Mexico Smart Grid Initiative (NMSGI) is developing a technical roadmap and business plan for investment that lays out how a smart grid can be implemented in New Mexico. The organization has been working with the nation of Japan, through its New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO), as well as electric utilities, communities, universities (UNM, NMSU, NM Tech), national laboratories (Sandia, Los Alamos), businesses and other entities, to carry out a set of demonstration projects. These demonstration projects include at least five sites testing the viability of microgrids — small local electric grids that can be controlled by the consumer and utility to provide optimal performance.
The agreement stipulates that, through December 31, 2014, Galvin will:

  1. In consultation with all New Mexico Smart Grid Initiative (NMSGI) partners, continue analyses of existing laws, regulations and policies for the electricity business in New Mexico that are relevant to the development of a smart grid in the state.
  2. Hold annually at least one educational seminar for NMSGI partners and interested parties and communities to inform them about the NMSGI and issues related to transforming the electrical grid.
  3. Evaluate the NM smart microgrid demonstration project designs and make preliminary technical recommendations as appropriate to maximize their community, consumer, economic and environmental benefits.
  4. Work with the leadership of the NMSGI to establish a working group for the NMSGI policy/outreach effort.
  5. Provide recommendations on improving the effectiveness of the NMSGI organization, including development of a website and appropriate content for use by NMSGI partners and other interested parties.

“We are proud to lend our expertise and guidance to the New Mexico Smart Grid Initiative through this statewide partnership,” Galvin Electricity Initiative Executive Director Kurt Yeager said. “Smart microgrids will help propel states like New Mexico in toward a cleaner, more affordable power system that attracts business growth and tourism. Microgrids combine cleaner, on-site generation with technologically advanced controls to improve grid reliability, enhance power quality and deliver numerous other consumer benefits.”

The EDD established NMSGI as a nonpartisan, public-private partnership to position the state as a leading laboratory for smart grid solutions. The Initiative’s work will be implemented by the New Mexico-based Energy Control Inc. (ECI), led by Jack McGowan, who serves as Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s GridWise Architecture Council. ECI will assist in building cost-effective microgrid distribution systems that will help dramatically improve reliability, increase clean energy use, benefit consumer and keep operations and maintenance costs in check by incorporating new and innovative smart grid technology.

The Galvin Electricity Initiative was launched by former Motorola CEO Robert W. Galvin to transform our electric power system into one that is reliable, efficient, secure and clean, and meets the needs of 21st century consumers. In 2011, the Initiative continues to spark a migration toward a consumer-driven electric power system that is based on quality leadership. The goal is to promote grid modernization through policy reform and the development of Perfect Power smart microgrids that place top priority on serving consumers and businesses with reliable, high-quality, clean power. For more information about the Galvin Electricity Initiative, visit www.galvinpower.org, “like” the Initiative on Facebook (www.facebook.com/galvinpower) and follow the Initiative on Twitter at http://twitter.com/perfectpower.