Since 2013, the SunShot Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program has been growing the expertise and preparedness of current and future electric utility sector professionals so they have the knowledge and skills to operate our country’s electric grid with high penetrations of solar electricity and other distributed technologies. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is GEARED’s National Network Administrator, coodinating the work of the three consortia: the Electric Power Research Institute, the University of Central Florida and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In its first two years, GEARED trained more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, delivering 120 new courses and creating job, internship, and research opportunities for students to ensure these engineers are well-prepared to manage our nation’s changing power generation portfolio. GEARED also developed nearly 200 new power systems engineering curricula elements, which tackle topics like how to define smart grids and how to build and operate electric grid systems that will be able to accommodate increased levels of distributed energy production. Each year, GEARED sponsors a national student-centered research conference where student leaders review technical posters and academic research.
In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative hosted a peer review to discuss and evaluate the progress of the GEARED program. Read results of the peer review.