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NETL-Led Effort to Update Pittsburgh’s Energy Infrastructure Receives National Award
Pittsburgh MOU Bridge

A collaborative NETL-led effort to transform Pittsburgh’s energy infrastructure and establish the Steel City as a “Clean Energy City of the Future” will receive the 2019 State and Local Economic Development Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for Technology Transfer.

Previously a recipient of the same award from FLC’s Mid-Atlantic Region, NETL’s City of Pittsburgh Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) team was selected for the national honor from applicants throughout FLC’s network of more than 300 federal laboratories, agencies and research centers across the country. The award will be presented to team members at an April 24 ceremony in Orlando, Florida.

City of Pittsburgh officials and NETL representatives signed the MOU on July 17, 2015, building upon a long history of collaboration. The MOU aims to modernize Pittsburgh’s aging infrastructure by implementing an innovative “grid of microgrids” concept that capitalizes on five existing energy districts and the city’s unique geographic features to supply local residents with clean, reliable and cost-effective power.

Pittsburgh has been actively engaged in economic development and clean energy initiatives that contribute to the MOU effort — including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, which earned the city $10.9 million — with support from NETL’s team of experts. Sixteen people are involved with the MOU work, including nine NETL federal or contractor employees and two representatives from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters.

NETL has examined electricity and natural gas use across 165 square miles of the greater Pittsburgh area, funded development of a new fuel cell power plant that runs on clean natural gas, connected the city with DOE experts on combined heating and power opportunities, completed studies of geothermal energy options and initiated a pathway assessment that evaluates the benefits of deploying different energy technologies. NETL has also connected the city with university and industry stakeholders who have invested tens of millions of dollars in groundbreaking energy endeavors that will create jobs and benefit future generations.

The innovative partnership shows that fossil fuels can play a valuable role in a clean energy future, while also demonstrating NETL’s expertise in developing cutting-edge technologies that make safe and efficient use of the nation’s abundant domestic resources. NETL is also helping cities meet the economic development and job creation needs of the 21st century to support continued growth and prosperity.

To learn more about NETL’s City of Pittsburgh MOU work, click here.

Established in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, the FLC is a nationwide network of scientific research facilities focused on fostering best practice strategies for commercialization and promoting opportunities to transfer federal technologies from laboratories to the marketplace for maximum benefit. The FLC community includes world-renowned scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia, laboratory personnel and technology transfer professionals.