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The PERFORM program aims to shift the operations and planning to a risk-driven paradigm. Future operations and investment strategies will more closely resemble portfolio management practices; resource offers will be differentiated by their overall historical performance and prediction of their real-time performance. This shift enables the ability to balance the tradeoff between minimizing costs versus delivery risk while providing the foundation for an incentive compatible environment that efficiently mitigates risk. This program will provide grid operators a transparent quantification of their system position and overall risk exposure, which does not exist today.

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ARPA-E convened people from diverse industries to discuss technologies for enabling advanced nuclear reactors to achieve operating cost profiles approximating those of natural gas combined cycle plants.

ARPA-E plans to organize a one day “Industry Day” in the Washington DC area, on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019.  The primary purposes of the industry day will be (1) to evaluate and strengthen the draft technical section in the RFI prior to releasing the associated possible future program, and (2) to facilitate the formation of highly multidisciplinary teams. Participants will lend their technical expertise to suggest any necessary refinements to the draft technical section and to seek clarifications on its objectives. 

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ARPA-E held a kick-off meeting for its Modeling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration (MEITNER) program from December 11-12, 2018 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Charlotte, NC.

ARPA-E hosted a roundtable discussion on “Operating at Extremes: Tools for Enhanced Geothermal Systems” on September 21, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) have the potential to improve the economics and reduce the geographic restrictions of geothermal energy, but unlocking this resource will require changes to surveying and drilling technologies. ARPA-E convened leading experts in academic geosciences, petroleum engineering, enhanced geothermal systems, high-temperature electronics, space-based measurements, and geological storage to identify innovations in subsurface measurement and drilling techniques to enable economic operation of EGS.

This workshop convened leading experts in control and systems engineering, co-design, dynamics, modeling, optimization, electrical and mechanical systems, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, power electronics, generators and structural engineering; as well as developers of specific classes of energy conversion technologies, including wind, wave, tidal and riverine energies, and key enabling technologies like new optimization techniques, multi-scale computer algorithms, distributed sensors, intelligent signal processing and actuator networks.  

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The workshop convened leading experts in machine learning, artificial intelligence, topology optimization methodologies, inverse design methodologies, dimensionality reduction techniques, and general engineering design and optimization (including vendors of existing design tools and software), to identify innovations that have the potential to drastically improve the speed and quality of complex engineering design and thereby accelerate the development of next generation energy technologies whose discovery would otherwise be highly unlikely.

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The workshop convened leading experts in cementitious material development, manufacturing, distribution, and end-use to identify innovation which significantly improves concrete durability, lowers its energy footprint, and results in next-generation, cost-effective materials to address our current infrastructure challenges. Participants will lend their expertise to help ARPA-E explore innovative technologies to determine relevant and compelling metrics that will define a successful research program. 

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ARPA-E held its ninth annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit March 13-15, 2018 at the Gaylord Convention Center, right outside of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit the Summit website. 

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ARPA-E hosted a workshop entitled “The Energy-Smart Farm: Distributed Intelligence Networks for Highly Variable and Resource Constrained Crop Production Environments,” on February 13-14, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ.