Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program is building a training and education framework that’s growing the expertise and readiness of current and future electric utility sector professionals specifically to accommodate high penetrations of solar electricity and other distributed technologies.

IREC, in collaboration with DOE, serves as national administrator of GEARED.

The motivation to create a program like GEARED comes from several challenges: an aging utility workforce; the large number of imminent retirements in U.S. universities; and the need to significantly upgrade the curriculum of power systems engineering programs to address projected industry needs.

Equally important, GEARED is filling an urgent need for increased power systems research, development and analytical capacity, and for integrating these findings into education and training. Through GEARED, a national network of centers that support power systems training and curriculum development based on research, development, data generation, collection, analysis and simulation is being created.

Central to GEARED is the Distributed Technology Training Consortia  (DTTC). Composed of three regional consortiums, each with multiple university, utility and industry partners that are working to harmonize power systems analysis and R&D into training activities such as curriculum and short course development, internships and co-ops and continuing education. The DTTCs identify and share training and education best practices and programs and power systems research and development.

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