EPI in 2023
The CAES Energy Policy Institute team has been pleased to share highlights of how we support the advance of energy decision-making.
$26+ Million in Research and Capacity-building Awards
- EPI Director, Kathy Araújo, and Assistant Director, Cassie Koerner, secured a $2M cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish and lead one of twelve national consortia on consent-based siting for spent nuclear fuel. EPI and its research partners across eight universities, including all Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) universities, and the National Tribal Energy Association, will examine current and historical examples of infrastructure siting, and collaborate with communities to develop recommendations for U.S. DOE on how to approach consent-based siting in a way that accounts for different people and communities.
- EPI Director, Kathy Araújo, co-led the effort for Boise State on a State-wide team, securing a $24M award to produce world-class research and the related workforce on energy-water system resilience. This 5-year project, Idaho Community-Engaged Resilience for Energy-Water Systems (I-CREWs), includes partnerships with all CAES consortium members plus communities, industry and other Idaho-based organizations.
- EPI senior researcher, Stephanie Lenhart, secured a $70k+ award through Boise State’s Grand Challenges to partner with the Shoshone-Bannock tribe to research and improve energy independence and infrastructure. This project, in part, will create a roadmap and resource guide for obtaining external funding for distributed energy resource projects and research.
Education and Public Talks
- On-line Certificate Launch: EPI/School of Public Service/Boise State University/CAES, in collaboration with CAES partners — Idaho State and University of Idaho, implemented a preliminary launch for a new Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Safeguards and Security this fall semester across Idaho universities. The on-line training is available to professionals and students within and outside of Idaho.
- Sustainability Field School: EPI senior researcher, Stephanie Lenhart, launched a summer field course at Zena Creek Ranch in partnership with the CAES Energy Policy Institute, School of Public Service, School of the Environment, College of Engineering, and the Andrus Center at Boise State. The summer training provided graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to examine energy and water challenges in rural Idaho.
- Virtual Speaker Series: EPI hosted its popular Power Talk series that is free and open to the public. This virtual series brings together speakers and panels on timely and relevant topics in energy. Select topics included: Idaho Agriculture: Opportunities and Progress with Clean Energy;** Wildfire-grid risk; Tribal Energy Decision-making; The CHIPS and Science Act: Progress and Ties to Energy; Energy Storage: Policy and Potential in 2023;** and Geothermal Energy Advances in the US. (**Note: Cohosted with the Idaho Chapter of the CleanTech Alliance.)
Regional Development/Expert Studies
EPI continues its collaboration with industry and other partners, cultivating a lead role for Idaho in regional development. Key topics include critical minerals, emerging markets, regional transmission organizations and electricity markets, resource adequacy, and wildfire-grid risk.
- Assistant Director, Cassie Koerner, partnered with the International Infrastructure Working Group to develop policy recommendations to improve the protection and resilience of infrastructure systems. Cassie and EPI Director Araújo also collaborated with CAES partners at INL and ISU to publish The Power Grid/Wildfire Nexus, led by Keith Weber and CAES-funded student, Alyssa Farnes. EPI and students have a second paper on the topic, currently under review.
- Senior Researcher, Stephanie Lenhart, evaluated new ways of measuring and developing decision tools for resource adequacy in power systems – a key consideration for Idaho and the west. Stephanie partnered with Penn State and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for this NSF-funded work ($150k) with the Railbelt Reliability Council.
- Working with the INL-led Emerging Energy Markets Analysis initiative and students, EPI Director, Kathy Araújo, and Assistant Director, Cassie Koerner, produced An Assessment of Policies and Regional Diversification with Energy, Critical Minerals, and Economic Development in Emerging Markets for the U.S. Department of Energy in Spring 2023.
- Senior Researcher, Stephanie Lenhart, coauthored Western Electricity Emerging Markets: State-Level Regulatory Analysis which reviews the role of state regulators in the context of emerging regional electricity markets in the West. This externally-funded study supports ongoing industry-government meetings convened by the Colorado Energy and Water Institute.
- EPI carried out additional advising for/engagement with select organizations, including: the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance; Energy Systems Integration Group Resource Adequacy Task Force; School of Public Service at Boise State; Energy Systems & Technology Education Center at Idaho State University; Research Accelerators on Water and Critical Minerals/MARESUNEX; the Railbelt grid; and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, Working Group on Clean Energy Technology.