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City of Pittsburgh MOU

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The City of Pittsburgh and NETL signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2015 that initiated a collaboration to transform the city’s energy system and aging infrastructure by implementing a “grid of microgrids” concept that spanned nine energy districts. The City of Pittsburgh MOU provides an opportunity for NETL to demonstrate how fossil energy (FE) is a part of the clean energy future, and to show how technologies invented at NETL can support the safe and efficient use of energy. From high-efficiency fuel cells for electricity generation and district energy solutions, to the sensors and technologies to monitor energy infrastructure and detect natural gas leaks, NETL is developing the systems that are the future of energy. NETL envisions that this collaboration can serve as a model for other collaborations between the Department of Energy (DOE) and cities.

Accomplishments of the partnership include:

  • Funding and running a prototype 200kw Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system on the North Side of Pittsburgh
  • An energy baseline study of each energy district’s electricity and natural gas use
  • A techno-economic study of geothermal energy extraction and use opportunities of Hazelwood Green
  • Being an active partner in supporting Pittsburgh’s pursuit of a $50 million Smart City Challenge grant to improve regional transportation
  • Participating in the Denmark/Pittsburgh Energy Exchange, which is an agreement between the University of Pittsburgh and the Danish energy ministry to develop plans for implementing district energy infrastructure and smart city technologies in Pittsburgh
  • Creating and maintaining a portion of the NETL website dedicated to the partnership, that includes information such as relevant funding opportunity announcements, a news center for current Pittsburgh energy topics, and details on the technologies
  • Receiving two prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) awards for State and Local Economic Development, and receiving Honorable Mention in the 2019 Smart 50 Awards

Shared HistoryNETL PublicationsNETL ExpertiseProject InformationNews CenterEnergy Districts MapFunding Opportunity Announcements

Technology area contact:

Thomas Tarka

Technology area contact:

James Ferguson