David Irwin, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is one of three co-principal investigators in a three-year, $1-million grant from the National Science Foundation (see National Science Foundation news) to create smart energy services in conjunction with the Holyoke Gas & Electric Company (HG&E). The NSF’s Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity program is funding Irwin and two other UMass Amherst researchers and others to work with HG&E and develop smart energy services that will improve grid efficiency, encourage energy conservation, and promote local renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar equipment. See Springfield Republican article.
Smart grid experts Irwin and Prashant Shenoy, a computer science professor, are collaborating with green building expert and professor in the environmental conservation department Simi Hoque as co-principal investigators on the project.
The new grant follows a $200,000 pilot project funded in 2014 by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and carried out by Shenoy and Irwin with HG&E that demonstrated how smart electric meters save money and power. See Article in the Springfield Republican.
The two HG&E projects are also related to a $461,434 grant that Irwin received in 2013 from the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supporting his research for boosting energy-efficiency in houses and buildings, which represent the largest segment of society’s energy usage. The title of Irwin’s CAREER project was “Model-based Energy Management for Sustainable Buildings.”