AGI Day 2023 Recap

As we prepare for AGI Industry Day, taking place on August 28, we invite you to take a look back at our 2023 AGI Day for a summary of productive conversations and panels that we hope to bring to you again this year.

AGI Day facilitates conversations around AGI’s goal of advancing power systems across the United States and the world. This year’s theme is “Nexus of Power Systems Engineering and Advanced Analytics toward a Resilient and Decarbonized Grid.”

The 2023 AGI Day kicked off with introductions and welcoming statements from former co-directors Dr. Noel Schulz from Washington State University (WSU) and Jeff Dagle from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

Dagle gave an overview of the AGI strategic plan, created in 2021, with goals including research, education, influence, and institutional collaboration. Current Co-Director Anamika Dubey and Interim Co-Director Wei Du are currently evaluating and updating the strategic plan.

Schulz introduced joint appointees Henry Huang, Kevin Schneider, Anamika Dubey, Noel Schulz and Mani Venkatasubramanian. Joint appointees collaborate with both PNNL and WSU.

(DGRP), a partnership between WSU and PNNL, was also recognized. DGRP students Ben McCornack and Charlotte Wertz worked with the two entities to further develop their industry knowledge and education while working on AGI. The first two years of the DGRP are funded by WSU and focus on completing schoolwork. Years three and four are funded by PNNL and focus more heavily on industry experience.

WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes welcomed the audience to the campus and spoke on the strong relationship that WSU Tri-Cities has with PNNL. Haynes highlighted the diversity of the student population on campus, 50% students of color, 46% first-gen students, and 60% female students were three of the key numbers highlighted.[HJ1]  Jonathan Male, assistant vice chancellor for research and director of national laboratory partnerships at WSU Tri-Cities, said that one of the goals of the partnership between WSU and PNNL is that “Washington State University will be recognized for embracing risk and bold thinking to serve the needs of its communities through innovative research, scholarship, and creative activities.”

Jud Virden, associate laboratory director for energy and environment at PNNL reflected on AGI’s commencement and how investing and developing the grid is even more important now than it was at the start of the project more than half a decade ago.

Deb Gracio is an Associate Laboratory Director, the National Security Directorate for PNNL. Gracio shared how large of a scale AGI works on, and how many distinct aspects go into the project, going into data analytics and cybersecurity to secure assets that have been created.

Both Virden and Gracio highlighted that the input of the audience will help AGI with current and future developments as it grows in the future.

Michael Pesin from the Department of Energy Office of Electricity spoke on what the grid of the future might look like.

“One of the big drivers is the efforts to decarbonize the grid and the US economy. As you know, this administration has very ambitious goals to have carbon-free pollution electricity by 2035, which is very aggressive. It requires to have a complete paradigm shift of how we operate, how we design and plan the grid,” said Pesin.

Over the course of the day, speakers and panelists—from energy experts to industry members and politicians— covered a wide range of topics in the field from regulators perspectives on implementing energy policy, to electric vehicles and the grid.

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