Electric Power Research Institute
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The Electric Power Research Institute, or EPRI , conducts research on issues related to the electric power industry.
EPRI is a nonprofit organization funded by the electric utility industry, founded in 1972 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. EPRI is primarily a US-based organization, but receives international participation. EPRI's research covers different aspects of electric power generation, delivery and its use.
Following the Northeast blackout of 1965, the Senate held hearings in the early 1970s about the lack of research supporting the power industry. All sectors of the U.S. electricity industry pooled their funds to begin an industry-wide collaborative research program. EPRI was established, as a response, in 1972 as the Electric Power Research Institute. Created as an independent, nonprofit organization designed to manage a broad public-private collaborative research program on behalf of the electric utility industry, the industry’s customers, and society at large. EPRI’s creation was a recognition of the impact of electricity on modern life.
The institute's research and development program spans every aspect of generation, environmental protection, power delivery, retail use, and power markets. EPRI provides services to more than 1000 energy-related organizations in 40 countries. It has more than 900 patents to its credit.
EPRI laid the groundwork in the 1970s for the use of power electronics in the utility system, sometimes known as FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems), established the largest electric and magnetic fields health program in the world and has played a role in resolving scientific questions concerning potential links to cancer. EPRI is in the Advisory Council of the PHEV Research Center and created the world’s largest center for nondestructive testing, used first for nuclear inspection and now increasingly for internal diagnostics of fossil power plants and industrial systems.
Chauncey Starr was the founding president of EPRI.
According to Revis W. James, the former director of the Energy Technology Assessment Center at EPRI, renewables such as wind and biomass are predicted to supply only a quarter of the electricity in 2050. He also predicted that solar power will not play a significant role. “It just doesn’t enter into our equation,” said James in an April 2009 article in The New York Times Energy and Environment Blog. As of 2011, James is the director of Generation Research and Development.
As defined in EPRI's mission, research is conducted with the intention of improving the current state of the energy industry.
In 2010, EPRI was part of a team to be awarded with Power Engineering magazine’s 2010 Coal-Fired Project of the Year. The project, “DryFining,” created a new technology for coal-firing power plants that improves fuel quality, decreases volatile gas emissions, and reduces a plant’s operating expenses and maintenance costs. The team was led by electric service provider Great River Energy of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and also included fluid bed dryer engineer Heyl & Patterson Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, Lehigh University’s Energy Research Center and engineering construction contractor WorleyParsons.
- "Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
- Morris, Lindsay. "Power Engineering Names Projects of the Year". Power-Gen Worldwide. Pennwell Corporation. Retrieved 2010-12-14.