Sandia Labs News Releases

Vermont-Sandia Partnership announces Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation

Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation

Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Sandia National Laboratories Vice President Rick Stulen have announced a $15 million, three-year partnership to establish a joint Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation to be housed at the University of Vermont.

Researchers at the center will collaborate on research in areas such as energy efficiency, complex systems, consumer response and acceptance and energy policy and governance.

The center is a three-year partnership whose members include Sandia, the state of Vermont, University of Vermont, Efficiency Vermont, as well as Vermont educational institutions, businesses and nonprofits. The partnership also includes eEnergy Vermont, which is a consortium of Vermont’s 20 utility companies.

“This partnership will serve as a trusted national resource to support the development and dissemination of smart grid best practices that will accelerate the nation toward a 21st century energy infrastructure,” said Stulen, who heads Sandia’s California Laboratory as well as its Energy, Climate and Infrastructure Security programs.

The idea for the collaboration was sparked in 2008, when Sanders attended a field hearing on concentrating solar power at Sandia in Albuquerque, N.M. The hearing led to a unique agreement to tackle major, complex challenges that face the country’s energy future.

The Vermont-Sandia Partnership began to take shape in 2011, with a grant from the Department of  Energy’s Power Systems Fellowship Program that supported the creation of an interdisciplinary community to foster education, workforce development and also technological innovation in Vermont’s electric power sector. The partnership sponsored faculty/student fellowships on modernizing electric power, short courses and seminars at UVM on such topics as smart grid technology and cybersecurity, and other events, leading up to the creation of the center.

“I am very proud to announce that we are bringing a very significant national lab presence to New England, by establishing the Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation right here in Vermont,” Sanders said.

In addition to UVM, participating schools include Vermont Tech, Vermont State Colleges, Norwich University and Vermont Law School.

Funding for the center comes from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Sandia Labs and the state of Vermont.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Stephanie Holinka,, 505-284-9227