By Collin Krabbe Technology reporter , Albuquerque Business First
September 23, 2020 – Sandia National Laboratories is working with New Mexico electric utility PNM to develop resilient, clean energy technologies, according to a news release this week.
The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement will allow the two organizations to collaborate on energy storage, solar photovoltaics, power electronics, machine learning and other areas of focus. The U.S. Department of Energy will provide funding and support for the labs’ work, according to Sandia. A CRADA is an agreement between a government agency or federal lab and a non-federal entity to jointly work on research and development projects.
The partnership could help PNM achieve its goal of 100% clean energy production. Under state law, investor-owned utilities such as PNM must be carbon free by 2045.
“Our goal for 100% emissions-free energy requires advanced resources to bridge the technological gap,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, president and CEO of PNM Resources, in a prepared statement. PNM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PNM Resources.
The first project between the companies will focus on identifying the tools needed for current and future energy storage in an integrated grid. The project will last five years, according to Sandia.
“PNM will focus on the more immediate need to meet its emissions-free goal, while Sandia will examine research and development opportunities for the longer term, with a concentration on energy storage technologies and analytics,” Sandia’s news release says.
PNM Resources can generate about 2,811 megawatts of energy. It provides electricity to approximately 790,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas, according to the company.
Sandia says it will look at technologies that provide more flexibility in the electric system, and improve the efficiency of emissions-free technologies in subsequent projects.