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Student Designed App Wins 3rd Place in National Energy Challenge

Student Designed App Wins 3rd Place in National Energy Challenge

February 5, 2015

Last fall, a group of twelve Middlebury College students won third place in the national Spark Clean Energy Challenge, a competition focused on improving energy grid resiliency. The Middlebury team designed a mobile and web-based app, "ReGrid," in response to the competition’s prompt: "How do we improve communication between consumers and the utilities to build a more responsive and secure grid?”

Through their research, students learned that power outages have social and economic consequences for both customers and utility companies. They designed the ReGrid app to streamline information exchanges between utility companies and customers to lessen these impacts.

Customers can use ReGrid to manage payments, view their energy use, and report outage information. The students believe that the timely reporting of grid line issues will improve grid resiliency, decrease social impacts, and save stakeholders money by reducing the length of blackouts.

Middlebury College's team brought a multi-disciplinary background, with student majors ranging from economics and computer science to studio art and psychology. They were unified through their shared interest in climate change and grid efficiency and resiliency.

The students impressed faculty and staff at the Franklin Environmental Center for pursuing this project outside of the classroom. Nan Jenks-Jay, Dean Of Environmental Affairs noted, "Today we cannot begin to predict the environmental solutions a group of smart and motivated Middlebury students will design when left to their own devices,  creativity, and collaboration – the ReGrid app is a perfect example!"

In February, two of the team members will attend the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy's Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. to present and further develop the app.

For more information and an in-depth explanation of the app, visit go/microgrid.