The City of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2015 that initiated a collaboration to transform the city’s energy system and aging infrastructure by implementing a “grid of microgrids” concept that spanned nine energy districts.
The City of Pittsburgh MOU provides an opportunity for NETL to demonstrate how integrated energy systems are vital to the clean energy future and to show how technologies developed by NETL researchers and partners can support the safe and efficient use of energy.
This collaboration is a platform to create on-site test beds for new technologies, promote Pittsburgh’s energy leadership, and provide a location where NETL technologies can be tested and demonstrated. From high-efficiency fuel cells for electricity generation and district energy solutions to the sensors and technologies to monitor energy infrastructure and detect natural gas leaks, NETL is developing the systems that are the future of energy. NETL envisions this collaboration as a model for other partnerships between the Department of Energy and cities.
The MOU has garnered regional and national recognition for its successful collaboration between state and local economic development groups and federal laboratories for economic benefit. Awards received by the MOU team include: the 2018 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Award for State and Local Economic Development and the 2019 FLC National Award for State and Local Economic Development.
By assisting Pittsburgh with the initiatives associated with the MOU, focused on making Pittsburgh a Clean Energy City of the Future, NETL is helping to fulfill its mission of driving innovation and delivering solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future.