Newswise — Stony Brook, N.Y., February 16, 2018 – Stony Brook University and National Grid have launched the country’s most comprehensive “Institute of Gas Innovation and Technology” (I-GIT), which will be focused on finding clean, affordable energy solutions to meet the nation’s growing energy demands and diverse challenges. SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., National Grid NY President Ken Daly and leaders from Stony Brook University, National Grid and the scientific and business community, kicked off the opening of I-GIT during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Institute’s offices in the Advanced Energy Research & Development Center, a New York State designated Center of Excellence, located in Stony Brook’s Research and Development Park.
A consortium of academic and industry leaders, I-GIT will serve as an independent source of information and analysis on gas technology and related policies. It will focus on several key technology areas: low greenhouse gas producing fuels and renewable energy, environmental impacts of gas uses, gas supply diversification, safety resilient systems and advanced energy metering, and big data management. I-GIT will support advanced concepts in gas technology development and deployment for homes and businesses, enabling a sustainable and safe environment through cross-disciplinary collaboration and academic-industry.
“I-GIT embodies three of the four themes I spoke of at my first State of the University System address: innovation, sustainability, and partnership,” said Chancellor Johnson. “This institute is a strategic partnership between Stony Brook University and National Grid for research and development of sustainable energy usage innovation, but the institute doesn’t stop there. All parties are coming to this venture with an open mind to what can be accomplished for the communities we serve, the researchers, faculty, and students who will come through these doors, and future partnerships. This is an exciting opportunity and I am proud to celebrate its official launch.”
“As a leading clean energy company, National Grid is proud to be a founding partner of the Institute, which will support clean gas technology development, non-pipes alternatives, resiliency investments, market animation, and workforce development through academic-industry collaboration,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York. “The consortium's innovative approach will help provide our customers and the local communities that we proudly serve with a 21st Century clean energy economy.”
“This new Institute is a promising home for the hands-on implementation of innovative ideas that will lead to development of the world’s next generation of clean energy resources,” said President Stanley. “Collaboration between Stony Brook University engineering researchers and National Grid, as well as other leaders in several industries, is an exciting prospect and we look forward to watching the consortium grow.”
Robert Catell, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Center, said that collaboration between industry and academia was a founding principal of the Advanced Energy Center and thanks to this new initiative, the Center will continue to be at the precipice of discovery, leading to new technologies that impact residential and commercial energy usage.
“I congratulate National Grid for advancing its vision and mission through I-GIT to grow clean energy options that will help us reach our goals for a sustainable future,” said Catell.
The activities of the Institute will be overseen by an advisory board, whose membership will be drawn from representation of its founding members and University scholars to accommodate industry-driven R&D, balanced by intellectual curiosity. In order to achieve this, the Institute is seeking additional founding members and second tier funding. Within one year, the Institute expects to have a global reach with national and international industry collaborators. And working with the Clean Tech community, I-GIT will bring together business and government leaders, policymakers and researchers in developing innovative programs to deploy advanced gas energy technologies.
The institute will have a broad reach, evaluating the scientific, business and policy obstacles to a high performing clean energy economy. Investigations into areas of study that are the subject of National Grid’s development initiatives began in October 2017, as well as other evaluations including local renewable gas production, geothermal heating and cooling, thermal heat pumps and the use of utility meter data to enhance the efficiency, resiliency and safety of energy utilization by each customer.
I-GIT research projects will be facilitated in the Advanced Energy Center where scientists will have access to comprehensive clean and alternative energy research laboratories, user-friendly facilities and start-up incubator labs. An overall focus supported by members is to investigate natural gas technology as an enabler for other renewable energy resources nationally and internationally.
Devinder Mahajan, PhD, a professor of chemical engineering, graduate program director in the Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Department, and expert and accomplished researcher in advanced clean energy technologies, with 30 plus years of experience will serve as the Director of the Institute.
“The establishment of the Institute comes at a crucial time as there are more and more energy choices and demands on the world’s energy systems as they grow together,” said Mahajan. “In the US alone there are more than five million miles of natural gas pipe and 132 million buildings connected to the natural gas system with declining carbon intensity. While today’s natural gas burns cleanly because natural gas’s principal component, methane, contains 25 percent hydrogen by weight, this system also represents a large opportunity to bring emerging technologies to our societies on a very large scale.
“For example, using larger amounts of hydrogen could contribute greatly to the ‘hydrogen economy.’ By adding cost effective renewable gases or other technologies to the mix, the hydrogen content will further increase, which is central to the Institute’s commitment to promoting ‘decarbonizing’ energy,” Mahajan explained.
About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty has earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company that supplies the energy for more than 20 million people through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Read more about the innovative projects happening across the National Grid footprint in the US President’s eBook, The Democratization of Energy. For more information please visit the website: www.nationalgridus.com, or follow on Twitter, watch You Tube, or friend on Facebook, and find photos on Instagram.