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The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. or EPRI, is an American independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research and development related to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety, and the environment.
In November 1965, the Great Northeastern Blackout left 30 million people in the United States without electricity. Historic in scale and impact, it demonstrated the nation's growing dependence upon electricity and its vulnerability to power loss. The event marked a watershed moment for the U.S. electricity sector and triggered the creation of the Electric Power Research Institute.
Dr. Chauncey Starr, then the Dean of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, led the initiative, proposed by Congress, to create an independent research and development organization to support the electricity sector and address its technical and operational challenges. In 1972, at a formal hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, Starr presented a vision for the Electric Power Research Institute to serve Congress's mandate for objective, scientific research. Starr served as the first President of EPRI for five years and formally retired at age 65, but continued to work at EPRI for the next 30 years.
According to EPRI's 2018 Research Portfolio, EPRI's work encompasses research in technology, the workforce, operations, systems planning and other areas that guide and support the development of new regulatory frameworks, market opportunities, and value to energy consumers.
Energy and Environment
EPRI's energy and environment research focuses on providing tools, technology, analysis, and guidance for environmentally sound planning and safe operation of existing generation, transmission, and distribution assets. The R&D is meant to support energy and environmental needs related to strategic sustainability science, electrification, integrated energy planning and environmental aspects of renewables and distributed energy resources.
EPRI's generation research focuses on information, processes and technologies to improve the flexibility, reliability, performance, and efficiency of the existing fossil-fueled and renewable energy generating fleet.
EPRI conducts research on nuclear cost-effective technologies, technical guidance, and knowledge transfer tools to help maximize the value of existing nuclear assets and inform the deployment of new nuclear technology.
Power Delivery and Utilization
EPRI's distributed energy resources and customer research area focuses on distributed energy resource (DER) integration, efficient electrification, connectivity and information technology enabling an integrated grid and cyber security guidance.
The transmission, distribution, and substation research focuses on improving transmission asset management analytics, technology for mobile field guides, robotics and sensors to automate asset inspections, and improving understanding of electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
EPRI researches and develops early-stage and breakthrough technologies that could lead to promising concepts, new knowledge, and potential breakthroughs.
- "EPRI Public Site". www.epri.com. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
- Barker, Brent (Summer 2012). "Born in a Blackout" (PDF). EPRI Journal.
- Barker, Brent (Spring 2012). "The Man Who Never Stopped" (PDF). EPRI Journal. 1: 14–17.
- "2018 Research Portfolio: Research Offerings to Shape the Future of Electricity".
- "Energy and Environment Research Areas". epri.com.
- "Generation Research Areas". epri.com.
- "Nuclear Research Areas". epri.com.
- "Distributed Energy Resources and Customer Research Areas". epri.com.
- "Transmission, Distribution, and Substations Research Areas". epri.com.