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NMSU joins Permian Energy Development Lab, receives NSF grant


As member of a consortium of academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, companies and national laboratories, researchers from New Mexico State University are working on advanced energy technologies in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico as part of the Permian Energy Development Lab. The PEDL consortium includes seven universities, two national laboratories and a center for advanced energy research.

Recently, the National Science Foundation awarded the Permian Energy Development Lab a two-year, $1 million grant for “NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing energy and resilience technologies in the Permian Basin (Texas, New Mexico).” This is the initial step toward the possibility of a 10-year, $160 million NSF investment.

Luis Cifuentes, NMSU vice president for research, creativity and strategic initiatives, praised the collaborative focus of the PEDL consortium. 

“Today’s rapid advancements in technology require that we work together to address these important challenges to ensure the region is able to transition to sustainable energy systems that have both economic and societal benefits,” Cifuentes said.  

“The NSF investment in the Permian Basin will be used to expand collaborations across all sectors to build capacity in technology innovation and new business development,” said Patricia Sullivan, director of NMSU Strategic Initiatives and associate dean for outreach in the College of Engineering. “Additionally, development of aligned education and workforce trainings to meet future career opportunities is an important focus of the PEDL initiative.”

As part of the Permian Energy Development Lab, NMSU will leverage its expertise in water, agriculture, computer science, power engineering and workforce development. These areas of technical expertise will support the PEDL focus on growing sustainable energy resources in the Permian region.

The NSF innovation engines program exhibits a new focus on helping places flourish, especially those that haven’t fully participated in the recent tech boom. NSF’s approach includes community engagement to help cultivate trust and inclusive growth.

Launched in March 2023, the Permian Energy Development Lab is focusing on conducting advanced energy research and deployment, educating the next generation of energy professionals, and supporting energy-intensive communities and the natural resources needed.

The NSF award will accelerate the Permian Energy Development Lab’s progress in all three areas, with specific interest to bridging the gaps between research, entrepreneurship and job creation in the area.

The University of Texas at Austin is the lead institution for the Permian Energy Development Lab, and NMSU joins the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, GTI Energy, Midland College, the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, New Mexico Tech, Odessa College, Sandia National Laboratories, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Texas Permian Basin.

To read more about the Permian Energy Development Lab, visit