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(LAFAYETTE, LA) - The National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute is excited to announce $87 million in new grant funding for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) to give communities access to electricity and other vital services during times of natural disaster.
The Hubs for Energy Resilience Operations (HERO) Project will establish modernized Community Resilience Hubs through distributed solar and battery microgrids. The results will enhance statewide emergency response operations by integrating the HERO Hubs with utility-owned electric grid infrastructure and backup generation assets.
"The HERO project provides a unique opportunity for our State and local communities to be better prepared for a variety of disasters,” said NIMSAT Director, Shannon Strother, PhD. “Specifically, the HERO project will allow vulnerable communities to be better prepared for hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes through the provision of electrical microgrids to support critical infrastructure.”
As part of the grant, NIMSAT will establish a Center of Excellence for Crisis Events with state partners. The research team will work with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters as well as community and faith-based organizations to identify microgrid sites across South Louisiana and beyond. The communities will provide feedback on their understanding of renewable energy and their practices. Next, UL researchers will build technology solutions that allow GOHSEP to have real-time information of the activation and operation of the microgrid system.
Since 2008, the NIMSAT Institute has been a trusted partner in emergency management research, building innovative technologies, and managing the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center since June 2010.
Strother said, “The NIMSAT Institute is honored to be part of such an innovative project that serves Louisiana and its citizens."
This marks the largest grant funding in history received by the University from the US Department of Energy coupled with a $250 million match from state partners.
The NIMSAT Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette focuses on enriching public-private partnerships and advanced information technologies to enhance national resiliency for a full range of potential disasters. Our research center manages the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center in partnership with GOHSEP and Louisiana Economic Development.
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