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While visiting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., on Wednesday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz dedicated what the Department of Energy (DOE) says is the nation's first major research facility focused on clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment.

According to the DOE, the new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) will help manufacturers, utilities, and public- and private-sector researchers overcome the challenges of integrating clean energy and energy efficiency technologies into today's energy infrastructure.

ESIF will tackle generation, transmission, distribution and end-use challenges to advance renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy storage batteries, microgrids and next-generation building technologies, the DOE says.

Moniz and NREL Director Dan Arvizu also unveiled Peregrine - the newest DOE supercomputer. Peregrine will reside in the new ESIF data center.

The DOE says the new supercomputer will further strengthen NREL's modeling and simulation capabilities to support fully integrated energy systems research. By pairing this capability with the facility's interactive hardware-in-the-loop system, researchers and manufacturers can test their products at full power and real grid load levels.

"The research at ESIF will help refine the pathways for the successful integration of high-penetration distributed resources, including renewables and energy efficiency, across a wide spectrum of technologies," Arvizu says. "We’re looking forward to working side by side with industry, academia and other agencies to have a transformative impact on our energy systems."

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