Cree (Nasdaq: CREE), power technology firm ABB and researchers at N.C. State will collaborate on research to develop new “smart grid” technology with $5.15 million in federal funding underwriting the work.

The grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced research projects Agency-Energy is for three years.

The focus will be on storage and distribution of energy produced from renewable sources, including wind and solar.

ABB operates a center at NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

Powerex is also part of the project.

NCSU will receive some $750,000 from the grant. Its team is tasked with developing what the university called a “transformerless intelligent substation,” or TIPS.

“TIPS will enable the vision of the smart grid,” SAID ncsu PROFESSOR Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya. “It will be a more cost-effective and efficient means of connecting renewable energy resources to the existing power infrastructure.”

According to Bhattacharya, TIPS would enable a direct connection between energy sources, storage systems and the power grid.

Cree is developing a power semiconductor device as part of the project.

NCSU is home for the National Science Foundation’s
Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) center, which focuses on renewable energy.

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