CURENT Moves to New State-of-the-art Facility

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Network (CURENT) kicked off 2012 with a move to its new headquarters in the $37.5 million Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK). CURENT is an Engineering Research Center co-funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) and headquartered at UTK.

Impact/benefits: 

The state-of-the-art building provides CURENT with more than 16,000 square feet of laboratory and conference room space, including 7,000 square feet on the first floor that was not part of the original building design. The additional space was made possible by $1.4M in additional funding authorized by the University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Office.

Explanation/Background: 

The new building will house the Center’s hardware testbed, large-scale testbed, multimedia and visualization center, and FNET monitoring and visualization lab, as well as the general power systems and power electronics labs. Outside of the UT campus, additional facilities available to CURENT faculty include:

  • UT’s Kraken, the world’s first academic supercomputer to reach petascale capability (supported by NSF), and DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) XT5 Jaguar, formerly the world’s fastest supercomputer.
  • ORNL’s Distributed Energy Communications & Controls Laboratory, Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on the Earth Laboratory, and $15M Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Facility.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Distributed Generation and Smart Grid Testbed, supported by NY State Foundation and Power Grid Control Laboratory.
  • The Electric Power and Energy Systems group maintains three laboratories at Northeastern University: Power Systems, Power Electronics and Motion Control, and Energy Processing.
  • Tuskegee University laboratories support classes on power systems, energy conversion, and control systems.