|Source:||Pacific Northwest Laboratory|
|Date:||8/1/95 Record No.: 10168|
|Contact:||General Phone, 509-375-2121|
The Richland "Tri-Cities" area is home to a number of reactor and weapons materials production facilities, the first of which was the Hanford Site, established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan project. The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is a separate multipurpose Federal laboratory operated for the DOE by the Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI). Battelle, founded in the 1920's as a not-for-profit, also operates its own laboratory at its headquarters in Columbus OH. BMI took over the management of PNL as a "GOCO" (government owned contractor operated) in 1965. PNL has over 4000 people and a budget of $500 million/year, although downsizing and budget cuts are under way.
PNL's GOCO arrangement is unique in having two kinds of contracts with DOE. One, called "1830," is just like other DOE labs, with the usual direct funded work for DOE, work for others, CRADAs, licensing etc. The second type of contract, called "1831," enables PNL to perform strictly commercial proprietary work for private industry, paying a use fee to DOE for the use of the facilities and overhead. 1831 programs comprise less than 10% of the total activity at PNL, and involve slightly higher rates together with the better business terms for outside clients.
Commercialization is strongly encouraged at PNL, as is multi disciplinary harvesting and reapplication of results and technology from across all areas of the lab, including "black" programs.
Several years ago, PNL made a specific long-term commitment to energy, investing its own lab-directed funds (LDRD) and Battelle's IR&D in such areas as EMF mitigation and Real Time Control of Power Systems. The primary focus has moved distinctly away from generation, and toward T&D and end-use, with continuing strong emphasis on environmental impacts and restoration and on planning and analysis.
PNL's core competencies relevant to energy include:
Energy Systems Research: Power Systems, distributed utilities, automated diagnostics
Process Technology: Polymer coatings, reaction engineering, and process design tools
Integrated Environmental Assessment: EMF Effects, Global Modeling, Oil & Gas Cleanup.
PNL's approach to the utility industry, which it has specifically identified as a major program direction, is to support enhanced asset utilization in the near term while preparing a leadership role in the "utility of the future," involving real time control, distributed utility, new products, and risk/strategic environmental management.
PNL's Commercial and Industrial efforts already have a long history with the gas industry (GRI and gas/combination utilities), working on pipelines, appliances, etc. and providing product development and commercialization support, problem solving, life/prediction/failure mode analysis, efficient repair technology, and safety and inspection technology.
PNL has just completed (July 1995) a major reorganization and downsizing (with the help of McKinsey), eliminating nearly 2/3 of the upper management, and going to more of a line organization. (The "Technical Centers," matrixed with "Business Directorates," are no longer.) In the new order of things, "lines of business" are the major focus, drawing on personnel and capabilities across the lab, to address their particular sectors.
The technical Divisions are: Environmental and Energy Sciences, Environmental Technology, Energy, Health, National Security, and Emerging Technologies. These divisions each have a number of departments. The names of both divisions and departments are in many cases not a good indication of what goes on in them, so the best strategy for an outsider is to rely on a personal point of contact to reach the personnel and resources that are appropriate to a given topic.
PNL is strengthening its already substantial commitment (including internally funded development projects) to expanding the commercial side of the business, and seeks increased contact with private industry. The Energy Division might better be called the "Commercial and Industrial Division." Merwin Brown, formerly of PG&E, now heads the Energy Technology Department and Line of Business, which indicates PNL's resolve to serve the utility industry. They of course will draw on people and talents across the entire lab to meet the needs of utility clients.
PNL's Utility Strategy. PNL and its parent, Battelle Memorial Institute, have provided significant R&D contributions to the utility industry over the past several decades. BMI is the largest contractor to GRI, and PNL alone currently serves over 30 utility clients with a range of products and services. In addition to utility support, PNL provides support to DOE's Office of Utility Programs. PNL's energy strategy has identified the deregulation sweeping the utility industry as a key driver for technology needs over the next several decades. In response, PNL has increased its emphasis on the needs of the utility industry. PNL's utility industry has two primary foci:
1. Help increase asset utilization in gas and electric utilities, and
2. Provide technology leadership in distributed energy systems.
PNL's offerings for utilities include:
*Advanced power systems, transmission and distribution technologies and services
* Operations and Maintenance technologies and services
* Technology development and competitive analysis for new energy products and services
* Environmental Management
* Organizational Effectiveness assistance