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NMSU, DACC to sponsor inaugural electric expo in Las Cruces

New Mexico State University and Doña Ana Community College will join the city of Las Cruces, El Paso Electric, Mitsubishi, Metro Verde and others for a two-day expo showcasing the benefits of clean-energy electric technologies. 


NMSU and DACC are part of a group of sponsors supporting the first-ever PowerUp Expo and Training, set for Jan. 20-21 at the Las Cruces Convention Center.    The free expo aims to broaden public understanding of new electric technologies by demonstrating the benefits of electrifying homes, buildings and vehicles and using renewable energy sources. It will feature hands-on demonstrations, workshops and exhibits from more than 40 exhibitors, including several colleges and departments from NMSU and DACC.   NMSU’s College of Engineering, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Facilities and Services, and DACC’s Building Construction Technology and Environmental and Energy Technologies programs will have booths and exhibits set up on both days of the expo.   “We’ll have quite a bit of participation and representation from the campus community, especially from students who will be running booths and interacting with attendees,” said Wendy Hamilton, NMSU professor emeritus and expo coordinator.   NMSU’s interdisciplinary Center of Research Excellence in Design of Intelligent Technologies for Smartgrids, or iCREDITS, which focuses on research and education in smart grids, will showcase the transformation of electricity distribution feeders into customer-centric distribution microgrids.   “iCREDITS will demonstrate inclusive models to engage and advance students and researchers from diverse backgrounds,” said Mari Langford, senior program specialist in the Computer Science Department.    Langford said Young Women in Computing will host outreach activities for K-12 students to explore a virtual reality environment of power plants and smart homes, use Lego demonstrations to build a smart car, and other creative activities centered around renewable energy and electricity.   Facilities and Services will lead a presentation on sustainability at NMSU at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 in Classroom 8 of the Las Cruces Convention Center. The NMSU Cooperative Extension Service will also host a demonstration to show the benefits of induction cooking.    DACC will provide information about its Environmental and Energy Technologies and Building Construction Technologies programs.    “Both of these programs provide hands-on instruction that incorporates energy efficiency and conservation knowledge and technical skills,” said Chipper Moore, division dean of DACC’s Advanced Technologies Division.   Before the expo opens to the public, NMSU and DACC will host an invitation-only luncheon at the Fulton Center for a group of dignitaries, including  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich  and New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard. The group will then travel to the convention center via electric bus to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.   “I am thrilled that New Mexico State University, Doña Ana Community College, the City of Las Cruces, El Paso Electric, Mitsubishi, Metro Verde and others are partnering to convene this first ever PowerUP Expo to showcase the benefits of electrification,” said Heinrich, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Electrification Caucus and a champion for policies to electrify homes, commercial buildings and vehicles. “Electrifying our homes and businesses with clean and electric technologies — from electric vehicles to heat pumps — will lower costs, make buildings and homes healthier and more comfortable, and create great careers in the trades. I am enormously proud to see the whole Las Cruces community embrace this once-in-a-generation opportunity and truly lead the nation in adopting electrification solutions.” Heinrich established a new rebate program in the Inflation Reduction Act that provides upfront, point-of-sale rebates for the purchase and installation of electric appliances and equipment in single-family homes and multifamily buildings, with additional support for low- and moderate- income households.   Hamilton said the expo’s mission to educate the public about the benefits of electrification aligns with NMSU’s sustainability goals and related work conducted by faculty in recent years. She noted that the College of Engineering works with businesses to assess sustainability needs in their building structures.    “Over the past 20 years, the College of Engineering has been a leader in advancing environmentally sustainable practices among New Mexico businesses,” said Jalal Rastegary, a research scientist in the College of Engineering, who will oversee a booth at the expo.   Rastegary said his booth will offer information about the college’s Office of Outreach, which provides onsite environmental and energy-efficiency assessments for businesses. These assessments focus on reducing the businesses’ environmental impact, energy use and related costs, as well as promoting the installation of renewable energy sources when applicable.   For more information about the expo, visit / .