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UMass Faculty Seed Grants

UMass Clean Energy Extension provides seed grants to UMass faculty across all campuses through a periodic Call for Proposals.  We seek faculty collaborators on research topics that are important and timely for clean energy market and policy support, and are open to suggestions for topics from faculty.

The most recent Call for Proposals in January 2016 resulted in three research projects currently underway. The next call for proposals has not yet been announced.

Current Faculty Seed Grants (Round 2: January 2016)

To investigate the potential for large-scale energy storage in the Massachusetts electrical supply as the penetration of non-dispatchable renewable energy sources increases.

To study potential for sequestration of forest carbon in agricultural soils in Massachusetts, based on availability of woody biomass, availability of suitable soils for biochar application, commercially available pyrolysis technology, and estimated biochar production cost.

To further develop the Smart Solar concept in which solar electric systems are made capable of self-regulating their power output based on the needs of the larger grid, resulting in greater solar penetration and increased grid stability.

Past Faculty Seed Grants (Round 1: February 2015)

Since poorly performing buildings are not only uncomfortable energy intensive and more expensive to operate, this project will promote energy efficient operations and management practices in educational and public/commercial buildings in Massachusetts by improving and calibrating control strategies for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The study will utilize statistical/econometric modeling tools to estimate the impact of individual state-level policies on the growth of solar PV capacity at the commercial scale.

Project Goals: (1) To motivate the use and development of data center facilities, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to support the IT and knowledge economies, by quantifying the energy savings from using newer data center technologies that are emerging. (2) To suggest simple ways to improve the energy-efficiency hosting servers on campuses or in office settings, either by improving the efficiency of existing server closets or using a prototype of a free air cooling system.