Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG), the leading source of global expertise for wind and solar operations and power system integration, has announced it is changing its name to Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG). The new name reflects the non-profit educational association’s support for electricity energy systems with higher levels of clean energy and emerging opportunities for coordination between electricity, natural gas, and transportation systems, and a wide range of other energy and infrastructure pathways.
“After several years of strategic planning and discussions, the UVIG board unanimously agreed on these important changes that will keep the association at the leading edge of the transition in energy systems,” explains Mark Ahlstrom, president of ESIG’s board of directors.
“As the Energy Systems Integration Group, we acknowledge that our utility and energy company members have made great progress on integrating wind and solar energy, but broader challenges remain as we plan and operate our evolving energy systems. Our expanded role will support our members, the global energy sector and the public in thinking more broadly about energy systems and energy-related technologies, and to support the practical, economic, reliable and sustainable development and use of these technologies.”
The newly branded association also announced it has merged with the International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI), forming a global resource to advance the understanding and practice of integration across the full range of energy systems.
iiESI is a global membership-based organization, initially established with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and has been managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since 2014. iiESI was established to convene leading researchers, educators and practitioners addressing the technical challenges associated with the integration of multiple energy systems. The combination of iiESI with UVIG will substantially increase ESIG’s scope and focus on research and education.
“Since our group’s inception, we’ve always had a focus on how we can evolve as an organization. Merging with Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG) provides a great growth opportunity,” says Mark O’Malley, director of iiESi.
Both groups complement each other well, as UVIG has tended to be more driven by industry and North American issues, while iiESI has emphasized research and international activities.
The iiESI participants will support a new Research and Education Working Group within ESIG to expand their activities, continue to organize workshops on a global basis, and participate in all aspects of ESIG’s other activities.
“We see this as an amazing opportunity to collaborate and further the field of energy systems integration,” adds O’Malley. “With this transition, we will get even more industrial and academic participation, and play a greater role in the future of the energy industry.”
Commenting on the merger, ESIG Executive Director Charlie Smith said, “We are extremely pleased to combine ESIG’s resources with iiESI and we want to extend a warm welcome to their members as they become part of ESIG. It is important to note that both ESIG and iiESI have been enthusiastically supported by NREL. As we move forward together into the future of energy systems integration, we want to thank both NREL and DOE for their support, encouragement and partnership.”
Also, ESIG has developed a sustaining membership program for member organizations who support the organization’s mission at an elevated level. The inaugural member of this newly created sustaining membership program is the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), joining as a Platinum Member.
“Collaboration is a necessary element of an integrated energy network because we all have a stake in shaping the power system of the future,” said Mark McGranaghan, Vice President of Integrated Grid at EPRI. “EPRI was a founding member of both UVIG and iiESI, and we look forward to continued collaboration as they become the Energy Systems Integration Group.”
For more information about ESIG, visit www.esig.energy.