A microgrid control lab opened at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday, the product of a partnership between Florida Power & Light and GE Digital to simulate a modern grid control room and accelerate research.
The Microgrid Control Lab features control center equipment and software that UCF engineering faculty and students will use to gain hands-on experience.
“The Microgrid Control Lab provides unprecedented access to a modern grid control center that enables some of the brightest young minds in the country to collaborate, learn and help reimagine the energy grid of tomorrow,” said Jim Walsh, General Manager of GE Digital’s Grid Software business. “As renewable energy sources, like solar, continue to expand and evolve, the technology behind the grid has to keep up. It is critical that electrical and computer engineering talent have real-life experiences with the hardware and software than underpins the modern grid helping utilities securely deliver reliable clean energy.”
FPL and GE Digital employ more than 400 UCF alumni, the companies said. Currently, more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students at the university are studying electrical or computer engineering.
GE Digital also announced a new internship program offering UCF students experience in the utilities and power sectors.
“This new facility is exactly the kind of strategic partnership that makes UCF a premiere choice for students with future-focused career goals. GE Digital and FPL have been both philanthropic investors and design collaborators in this lab, ensuring our students in this field will be industry-ready on day one of their careers,” UCF President Alexander Cartwright said. “It’s a win-win. Our students get a leading education in a lab environment, and both companies open up a pipeline of incredible talent for their workforce.”