Aug. 12, 2019
What effect do zero-net homes have on the energy grid? What’s the dollar value of a healthy ecosystem, and what does that look like in the ever-changing Southwest? What are the best methods to protect forests from catastrophic fires? How does all of this affect the average resident of the Phoenix area?
These questions, critical in a time of warming climate and a place like Arizona, where healthy land, air and water play an important role in our lives, are at the forefront of a research partnership between Northern Arizona University and the Phoenix-based Salt River Project (SRP), one of the nation’s largest public power utilities. The SRP funds research focusing on applied research activities related to SRP’s core businesses of power and water. The majority of the funded NAU projects have been related to forest health and watershed management, with a few focused on power delivery and residential energy load impacts on the grid.
As the partnership begins its third year, directors Tom Acker, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Ben Ruddell, a professor and director of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, along with SRP leaders, highlighted the importance of the relationship.