RICHLAND, Wash. — Construction on a new energy research facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) campus will start this April. The project is valued at approximately $10 million. Research conducted there will address the smart grid, integration of renewable energy into the grid, reducing energy use in buildings, and more.

“This new facility is a sign of DOE’s and PNNL’s continued dedication to ensuring the nation has reliable access to clean, efficient energy,” said Mike Kluse, PNNL director. “This large, advanced research space will enable PNNL’s innovative scientists and engineers to deliver impactful science and technology to the nation.”

DOE is funding the project. DGR*Grant Construction of Richland, Wash., was awarded the design-build contract for the facility. The DGR*Grant-led team includes Meier Architecture Engineering of Kennewick, Wash. Construction will begin in April and is expected to finish in late spring 2015.

To speed up construction, DGR*Grant’s contract allows the facility to be completed in phases. Current plans call for a 22,000-square-foot building with a mix of laboratory, computational, control room, and office space. At least 45 staff members are expected to work in the facility. It will be located on the north end of PNNL’s Richland campus.

Research at the facility is expected to benefit many DOE programs and to integrate PNNL’s capabilities in computer science, mathematics, and systems engineering. Beyond research involving the power grid and building energy efficiency, the facility will also be home to the development of mathematical explanations for how the many diverse components of complex systems collectively operate.

Publication date: 3/3/2014

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