SDSU partners with universities on project STORM to help strengthen the U.S. electrical grid
The National Science Foundation awards a four-year grant to South Dakota State University in partnership with universities across the nation.
The project is led by the University of Maine and aims to find ways to secure electric girds in rural communities.
The National Science Foundation generated project STORM in response to extreme weather events occurring across the nation.
Events like the South Dakota Derecho in 2022 and the record-low temperatures faced in Texas in 2021 that wiped out that state’s electric grid.
The four-year $750,000 dollar grant provide SDSU and partner universities with the funding to find new and innovative ways to strength the United States’ electric grid with a focus on rural communities.
Tim Hansen is an Associate Professor in SDSU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and is co-principle investigator on the project.
“NSF chose our team because we cover a wide range of the United States. Each of us getting impacted by different parts of extreme weather events. So that when we come up with these methods that can help save the electric grid, it can then be deployed, pretty much across the entire United States,” said Hansen.
Hansen said there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to electric grid issues in different geological locations, making the project challenging. He said there are rural South Dakota communities directly involved in the project.
Mostafa Tazarv is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at SDSU. He oversees designing a virtual reality laboratory for remote power and energy research for the project. He said the virtual reality part of the project will save time and energy.
“What we can do is, we can send a drone crew, or just hire a consultant and they can capture Laser point clouds. When you have that, it means that you have a digital twin of your entire line. Then the line crew can stay in the office and inspect them from their office. And that would be the virtual reality component,” said Tazarv.
The grant is a part of a larger $6 million dollar investment by NSF to bolster infrastructure across the country.