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NETL Shares Success of Pittsburgh Partnership with Energy Experts from Japan

NETL officials highlighted the success of the Lab’s award-winning collaborative effort to transform Pittsburgh’s energy infrastructure for a contingent of Japanese energy experts visiting the Steel City.

GlobalPittsburgh — an organization that creates international connections through the arrangement of professional meetings, member activities and hosting opportunities — welcomed the Japanese delegation and invited NETL representatives to present during a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Pittsburgh.

The presentation focused on NETL’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Pittsburgh, which was signed July 17, 2015. The partnership aims to modernize Pittsburgh’s aging infrastructure by implementing an innovative “grid of microgrids” concept that capitalizes on existing energy districts and unique geographic features to supply the city’s 300,000 residents with clean, reliable and cost-effective power.

To date, NETL has:

  • Examined electricity and natural gas use across 165 square miles of the greater Pittsburgh area.
  • Supported Pittsburgh’s participation in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, which earned the city $10.9 million.
  • Funded development of a new fuel cell power plant at Clearway Energy Center that runs on clean natural gas with virtually no emissions.
  • Connected the city with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) experts on combined heating and power opportunities.
  • Provided case studies on deep direct use of geothermal energy.
  • Initiated a pathway assessment that evaluates the benefits of deploying different energy technologies.
  • Linked 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.

“This is a valuable opportunity to highlight the effectiveness of partnering with a national laboratory to achieve economic and technology goals. NETL is helping cities meet the economic development and job creation needs of the 21st century to support continued growth and prosperity,” said James Ferguson, NETL State and Local Partnerships Manager. “We hope other communities and investors will be inspired to forge similar collaborations with other DOE national laboratories and facilities.”

NETL’s mission is to discover, integrate and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations. The City of Pittsburgh MOU project supports that mission by demonstrating how abundant fossil energy plays an important role in a clean energy future and showing how technologies invented at NETL promote the safe and efficient use of energy that meets the nation’s ever-increasing needs.

The partnership’s success was recognized with 2018 regional and 2019 national State and Local Economic Development awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.

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