Russian Power Grid Delegation
The BPC’s Energy Working Group hosted a delegation lead by Russian Grids Deputy General Director Roman Berdnikov August 7 – 8 that visited Massachusetts and New York. Coordinated through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the main purpose of the visit was to familiarize Russian Grids with research projects funded through the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in the fields of advanced smart grid, storage technologies, research and development. The visit was also an opportunity to bring together electricity sector entities from the United States and Russia to discuss ongoing and future cooperation between the United States and Russian Grids under the Energy Working Group.
In Boston on August 7, the delegation met with officials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative (EI), as well as MIT and Boston University researchers working on advanced grid storage technologies and electric grid system modeling. The group discussed potential future joint engagements between Russian Grids and these research groups where Russian Grids would be able to contribute and gain access to relevant research results. Further talks surrounded potential mechanisms for Russian Grids to leverage the results of ARPA-E research in advanced grid storage that is nearing commercialization. The delegation also met with American Superconductor to learn about advanced electrical infrastructure technologies and its potential use in Russia.
On August 8, the delegation traveled to the New York City metropolitan area to meet with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) where best practices and electric grid modernization efforts were shared by both sides. Additionally, Russian Grids and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory finalized the initiation of a joint pilot project under the EWG aimed at utilization of synchrophaser technology in Kaluga. Russian Grids officials also met with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to discuss advanced power sector research.
Russian Grids also agreed to hold a senior level meeting in the fall of 2013 to discuss the status of current EWG activities including city-to-city partnerships, finalization of the plan for the synchrophaser project in Kaluga, and a potential grid security modeling effort with the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Smart Grid Sister City Partnership Advances
Senior management officials from Belgorod’s OAO MRSK Center (Interregional Grid Distribution Company-Center) visited San Diego to meet with their counterparts at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), April 10-12. Their trip advanced the Smart Grid City-to-City partnership between San Diego and Belgorod, ongoing since 2010.
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Workshop on Reducing Methane Emissions
On March 16 at the Carnegie Moscow Center, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, and WWF-Russia hosted a workshop on reducing methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector as part of the Global Methane Initiative. Representatives from Shell U.S. and Hy-Bon Engineering Company provided examples of practices to identify and recover methane and associated gas from oil and natural gas facilities in the United States. Both companies stressed that, in addition to environmental benefits, the technologies that their companies use can increase profits. Representatives from Russian oil and natural gas companies, including Gazprom VNIIGAZ, also presented information on how Russian companies flare and use associated gasses, including statistics on reductions of emissions.
Kaliningrad Preps for Energy Partnership
On March 21, experts from Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute (SEI) conducted the first seminar on the Smart Grid Maturity Model at Yantarenergo, the Kaliningrad branch of the Russian Interregional Grid Distribution Company. The Model provides a framework for understanding the current extent of smart grid deployment and capability within an electric utility, a context for establishing strategic objectives and implementation plans in support of grid modernization, and a means to evaluate progress over time toward those objectives. Kaliningrad was selected by the Russian side as part of the Energy Working Group's City-to-City Smart Grid Partnership program. Based on the Model results, a U.S. city will be selected as a partner city to Kaliningrad.
Russian Trade Mission Travels to Austin, Texas and San Diego, California
A Russian delegation composed of owners of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), conducted a December 5-10, 2011 trade mission sponsored and organized by the DOE. During the visit, Russian companies had a chance to meet with their counterparts involved in green building construction, equipment manufacturing, waste treatment, alternative energy production, and innovative smart grid developments. DOE and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service are planning a reciprocal trade mission of U.S. businesses to Russia in summer 2012.
Clean Energy Technologies Experts Interact via Videoconference
During a videoconference on November 10, Dr. William Brinkman, Director of the DOE Office of Science, and Academician Vladimir Yevgenyevich Fortov, Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for High Energy Density, reviewed the progress of the joint projects adopted by the Clean Energy Sub-Working Group. The Group’s research areas include materials, terrestrial arctic permafrost, biofuels, and hydrogen and fuel cells.
Roundtable Highlights International Energy Week
Russian and U.S. energy companies held a roundtable meeting on October 24 to discuss the opportunities and barriers related to increasing energy efficiency in Russia. As part of the Sixth International Energy Week in Moscow, government and international business leaders met to discuss Russia’s role in ensuring European energy security, climate change implications in the energy sector, and international collaboration related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Jonathan Hale delivered welcoming remarks at roundtable and the following day co-chaired a panel discussion focused on the innovative roles that government, science, and business can play in improving energy efficiency and developing renewables.
St. Petersburg and Honeywell to Cooperate on Energy Efficiency
On September 29, Vice Governor of St. Petersburg, S.A. Kozyrev, and Honeywell International Vice President Michael Taylor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a cooperative initiative to promote energy efficiency in public institutions in St. Petersburg, Russia. Under the framework of the Energy Working Group, both parties will now collaborate to prepare a general proposal to implement an energy saving pilot project in a public health care institution and two public education institutions in St. Petersburg. The MOU also calls for an energy survey of the public institutions in order to develop a broader program of actions related to energy saving and energy efficiency. The next steps will include identifying specific pilot sites, compiling data, and completing facility audits.
Russian and U.S. Sides Come Together During Energy Week
Organized under the Energy Working Group’s Energy Efficiency Sub-Working Group, USAID supported an Energy Round Table held in Moscow on October 24 (during Russia’s Energy Week). The organizers were the United States Energy Association and the Russian Energy Agency, with additional support from the U.S.-Russian Business Council and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service. Participating Russian and American energy companies discussed automation and energy efficient solutions for homes, buildings, and industries; commercial and private energy distribution and control solutions; and how to translate energy challenges into opportunities with an energy performance contract.
Cooperation Continues on San Diego-Belgorod Smart-Grid Partnership
To follow up on the signing of a Smart-Grid Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the cities of San Diego and Belgorod, a delegation from the city of San Diego and the San Diego Gas & Electric utility company traveled to Russia from June 14-18. The delegation met with officials from the city of Belgorod and from the Russian Interregional Distribution Grid Company (MRSK) to develop an action plan that encompasses the priority areas of cooperation agreed to under the MOU. The Russian side is now preparing the first draft of the action plan.
Secretary of Energy Chu Travels to Moscow
On June 9, 2011, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Russian Minister of Energy Sergey Shmatko co-chaired the second plenary meeting of the Energy Working Group in Moscow. The co-chairs agreed to support continued cooperation for several projects in joint research and large-scale energy efficiency, including a project on biofuel research and a Smart-Grid sister city pilot project between Belgorod and San Diego. Secretary Chu and Minister Shmatko noted the success of the working group and discussed potential ways to expand cooperation. Sub-groups on energy efficiency, energy security, and clean energy technology each reported on the progress of implementing joint activities. Read the Smart-Grid MOU between San Diego and Belgorod on the BPC Deauville Page.
Cooperating on the Development of Energy Technology
Jonathan Elkind, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Energy, visited Russia from April 18-21. Elkind focused on furthering cooperation in such fields as energy efficiency and clean energy technology in meetings with representatives from city and federal energy agencies, as well as companies in the nanotechnology and research sectors. Elkind also delivered a keynote speech at an International Energy Agency forum on Russia’s Energy Outlook and worked with his Russian counterparts to prepare for Energy Secretary Chu’s trip to Russia.
Sister City Smart-Grid Partnership
From April 6-11, representatives from the Russian Interregional Grid Distribution Company (MRSK) and from the Belgorod Regional Administration met with San Diego City Authorities, the San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and several high tech companies, including CISCO, Intel, OSI Soft, People Power, and Silver Springs, to discuss development of a sister-city partnership on implementation of smart-grid technology. Representatives from San Diego traveled to Belgorod in June for follow-on discussions.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Smart Grid Partnership Program
The Smart Grid Memorandum of Understanding is the centerpiece of the City-to-City Smart Grid Pilot Project and was concluded under the framework of the U.S.-Russia Energy Working Group. This initiative is designed to utilize innovative, cutting edge technologies to assist municipalities and utilities to cut losses in grid systems, reduce costs and improve reliability. It is part of a broad range of cooperative activities under the Energy Working Group to promote energy efficiency, spur innovation to build cleaner economies, and ensure energy security. The Smart Grid Pilot Project links the City of San Diego and Belgorod Region, as well as San Diego Gas & Electric and the Interregional Distribution Grid Company in Russia. The Project envisages a series of exchanges between the two cities and utilities, the development of a work plan outlining a common scope of work, and the sharing of managerial expertise and best practices. The project was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. The United States Agency for International Development is also providing funding and resources to support this effort. Read MOU on Smart Grid Partnership Program.
Smatko, Poneman Discuss Progress on Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Technology Cooperation
Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman met with Russian Minister of Energy Sergey Shmatko on December 8. During his meetings, the Deputy Secretary highlighted progress on a number of Energy Working Group projects, including a smart grid city-to-city partnership, coal-bed mine methane initiatives, and federal energy management plans for implementation in various candidate regions. Dr. William Brinkman, DOE Office of Science Director and co-chair of Clean Energy Technology Sub-Group, also held meetings (December 6-9) with his counterparts at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The two sides discussed a range of possible joint activities, from working on hydrogen fuel cells and on low activation materials for future nuclear reactor systems, to study of the impact of climate change on permafrost and projects on biomass fuels.
Energy Working Group Co-Chairs Meeting Heralds Smart Grid Cooperation
On July 21, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Russian Minister of Energy Sergey Shmatko held a full meeting of the Energy Working group in Washington. Secretary Chu and Minister Shmatko heard reports from the three sub group chairs, and signed a joint statement outlining future lines of work in the areas of Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Technology and Energy Security. In addition, U.S. Agency for International Development Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe & Eurasia Jonathan Hale and Timur Ivanov of the Russian Energy Agency signed a Protocol of Intent that will expand U.S.–Russia cooperation on Smart Grid projects in Russia. Joint Statement» Protocol of Intent and Attachment» USAID Press Release»
First Session of the Sub-group on Energy Security
On May 26, 2010 Russian Deputy Energy Minister Sergey Kudryashov and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar convened the first session of the sub-group on energy security under the auspices of the Energy Working Group in Washington DC. The two sides had a productive discussion on issues such as world market energy trends, proposed projects to bring new oil and gas to market and bilateral investment in the energy markets of Russia and the U.S. The next meeting will take place in Moscow. Photos»