University and Industry Seek to Develop ‘Smart Grid’

The cost of electrical energy is a concern for the people who use it and the people who produce it. Researchers are exploring new sources of clean, renewable energy; electrical companies are searching for ways to make their grids safer and smarter; and large corporations are trying to keep costs down while meeting their growing energy needs. At the University of Arkansas, an engineering center of excellence called the Grid-Connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems, or GRAPES, is bringing together members of each of these groups so that they can share ideas, information and resources to improve the way we generate and use energy.

GRAPES began in 2009 as a cooperative effort between the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina. The program, which receives funding through a National Science Foundation grant, promotes collaboration between academia and industry.

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