Clemson University to host conference on global energy challenges

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Clemson University is set to host hundreds of government officials, industry executives, and academics for a landmark conference — the first of its kind to be held in the United States — on some of the biggest energy challenges facing humanity.

The third annual IEEE Electronic Power Grid Workshop and Conference, which will take place Nov. 12-14 at the Charleston Convention Center, will unite some of the globe’s leading experts so they can share ideas and solutions to the world’s energy challenges.

It will include several keynote speakers, executive sessions, industry panel sessions, and technical electronic poster displays on various topics, including grid stability and resilience, microgrids, standards, and power quality issues.

“For years, there have basically been two silos in the energy world: those focusing on power systems and those focusing on power electronics, but there is so much that can be learned from each other,” said Johan Enslin, Duke Energy Endowed Chair in Smart Grid Technology and executive director of the energy systems program at the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston. “This conference brings them together so that they can share some of the great information and ideas they have so they can all work together to come up with even better energy solutions.”

Enslin and his team were tasked with organizing this year’s eGRID Conference thanks in large part to Clemson University’s growing reputation in the energy-testing realm, according to a news release.

The Clemson University Restoration Institute’s 82,000-square-foot, $98-million SCE&G Energy Innovation Center is under contract to test and verify the world’s largest wind turbine — the MHI Vestas V164 9.5 megawatt turbine — in one of its two test beds.

Also at CURI, the Duke Energy eGRID, a 15-megawatt hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator that supports education and research to speed new electrical technologies to market, is supporting projects in conjunction with the Department of Energy as well as the private sector.

“This event is a great opportunity for Clemson to show off what we’re doing here in Charleston,” Enslin said. “I’m really excited. We have great people and a great lab here. It’s about time the world finally got to see it.”

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