Sandra Begay-Campbell, a Sandia researcher and member of the Navajo Nation, talks with Sandia interns at the Pueblo of Acoma about how a photovoltaic panel works to generate electricity.

Sandia’s energy work is making a difference in underserved communities

August 18, 2021 2:31 pm Published by

Sandia’s world-class research in renewable energy, grid modernization, energy storage, and energy resilience is a key part of our commitment to exceptional service in the national interest. Our research is grounded in our community-based work. Sandia works with American Indian tribes; Alaska Native villages; and communities in Alaska, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico to increase resilience and the use of renewable energy. Sandia is also involved in multiple student internship programs to develop a diverse science and engineering workforce to be the next generation of leaders in energy work.

Technical Assistance for Underserved Communities

Sandia works with the Department of Energy to provide technical assistance for tribal energy programs, including the facilitation of strategic tribal energy plans. We assist these communities in achieving their energy vision.

Read about Sandia’s Tribal Energy program

Sandia has maintained a presence in Alaska and the Arctic region for decades. Access to affordable and reliable electricity is a challenge for many Alaskan communities. Working with many partners, we are conducting research to understand how renewable energy systems and grid-integration technologies perform in the Arctic.

Read about Sandia’s Grid and Renewable Energy Technologies in the Arctic.

Sandia has provided technical assistance to the City of New Orleans through several DOE-sponsored projects to support the city’s goal to increase energy resilience and reduce the societal impacts of natural disasters. New approaches for electric utility investment planning were developed in response to the city’s interest in meeting an equitable level of basic human needs during major disruptions across the city.

Read about Sandia’s work in New Orleans on grid resilience.

Sandia collaborates with a team of DOE national labs to provide technical assistance to advance energy recovery and grid modernization objectives in Puerto Rico. Focusing on the design and optimization of energy storage and renewable-based microgrids, our work includes partnerships with universities, community leaders, government agencies and the utility. Sandia recently renewed a ten-year agreement with the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.

Read about Sandia’s partnership with the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.

Internships for Underserved Populations

Sandia is supporting the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy effort to revitalize the Indian Energy Intern Program. We manage this program for the DOE, providing an opportunity for full-time American Indian/Alaska Native college students to work at Sandia performing tribal renewable energy technical tasks. Since 2002, Sandia has worked with 44 student interns with 23 different tribal affiliations.

Watch a video on the DOE Tribal Internship Program.

Sandia also supports the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (MSIPP). At Sandia, there are three specific internship opportunities that are part of this NNSA program. Sandia leads the work with Navajo Technical University as part of its participation in the Tribal Colleges and Universities’ Advanced Manufacturing Network Initiative. Sandia hosted many interns during its participation in the Consortium for Integrating Energy Systems in Engineering and Science Education (CIESESE), which worked with primarily Hispanic-serving institutions. The CIESESE program has been replaced with a new Consortium for Hybrid Resilient Energy Systems (CHRES).

Read about Sandia’s CIESESE internships program.

Sandia also participates in the Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities & Research (CECOR), which works with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Read about Sandia’s CECOR internships program.

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