U California San Diego Boosts Sustainable Energy Research with Private Partner

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has teamed with a private partner for work on sustainable energy technology.

UCSD has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) that "includes jointly conducting research on sustainable energy, and sharing testing techniques, results and analyses," according to a news release. "UC San Diego and UL will use their work to develop and define requirements and protocols for sustainable energy production and use. Their work also will address improving proper procedures for initial and mass deployment of these technologies."

UL has experience with testing and certification of various sustainable energy systems, such as wind, solar and large-scale energy storage tools.

For its part, UCSD has plenty of experience in sustainable energy as well. The school saves approximately $8 million each year via the use of a microgrid featuring data monitoring sensors around campus designed to maximize efficiency and powered by a cogeneration plant, a biogas fuel cell plant and solar panels. The microgrid is also used in the university's energy research, exemplified by the planned addition of a 5-megawatt hour storage system composed of lithium-ion iron-phosphate batteries.

As a result of the MOU, each institution will provide services matched to its strengths, with UCSD contributing science and engineering expertise and UL providing new testing procedures and standards in an effort to support the safe use of the new technologies developed.

"Teaming with UL will provide innovative renewable and storage technologies that can be readily deployed on a microgrid," said Gary Matthews, UC San Diego vice chancellor of resource management planning, in a prepared statement. "That will facilitate an earlier, deeper and wider penetration into the commercial and military markets by our industrial stakeholders."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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