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08-27-2008

Clarkson University Professor Co-authors Department of Energy Solar Study

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/ortmeyer2.jpg .]

Clarkson University Professor Thomas H. Ortmeyer is the co-author of a new study by the Department of Energy's recently published Solar America Initiative Renewable System Interconnection Study.

Ortmeyer, a professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, co-wrote two out of the 15 papers published in the study. The sections that Ortmeyer's group focused on were titled "Advanced Grid Planning and Operations" and "Utility Models, Analysis, and Simulation Tools." Ortmeyer sustainability efforts

The study examined two questions: how much solar energy can be put on a power grid and what impact does that energy have on the grid. It also identified the engineering needs required to increase the level of photovoltaics that can successfully be installed on a given distribution system. Finally, it looked at the benefits and costs of solar and photovoltaic energy.

The research took place last summer on what Ortmeyer recalled as his "own personal internship program, just like the students." Ortmeyer worked primarily in the DOE's office in Burnt Hills, N.Y.

During his research, Ortmeyer had the opportunity to work with Clarkson alumni Phil Barker, of Nova Energy Specialists, and Dave Crudele and Tim Roth, of EPRI.

"It was very interesting to work closely with our alumni, " explained Ortmeyer." They ranged from over 20 years experience to under one year. With all three, I was impressed with the growth that they have achieved after leaving Clarkson."

The study is just the beginning for Ortmeyer. "The technical issues of this project are solvable, so if the economic issues work out, we can do this," he said. "And if we've done our job, we will all be happy, living under our eco-friendly, money-saving roofs."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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