The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducts research, development, and demonstration projects for the benefit of the public in the United States and internationally. As an independent, nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research, we focus on electricity generation, delivery, and use in collaboration with the electricity sector, its stakeholders and others to enhance the quality of life by making electric power safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible.
EPRI has collaborated with the electricity sector and its stakeholders since 1972 and our membership has grown to represent approximately 90% of the electric utility revenue generated in the United States and extends to participation in more than 38 countries. The worldwide membership that supports our work comprises more than 1,000 organizations. While most members are electric utilities, others are businesses, government agencies, regulators and public or private entities engaged in some aspect of the generation, delivery, or use of electricity. Through their advisory roles in EPRI, its research sectors and programs, EPRI members help inform the development of EPRI's annual research portfolio, identify critical and emerging electricity industry issues, and support the application and technology transfer of EPRI's research and development.
In November 1965, the Great Northeastern Blackout left 30 million people in the United States without electricity, starkly demonstrating the nation’s growing dependence on electricity and vulnerability to its loss. It marked a watershed for the U.S. electricity sector and triggered the creation of EPRI. Although power was largely restored within 12 hours, the blackout prompted public and political scrutiny that continued for years. Leaders in the U.S. Congress were troubled by the nation’s dependence on a fragmented, critical industry for which there was no unified planning and research. Dr. Chauncey Starr answered the call from Congress to create an independent research and development organization to support the electricity sector and address its technical and operational challenges. At a formal hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, he presented his vision for the Electric Power Research Institute in serving its mandate for objective, scientific research. Much has changed in the electricity industry with advances in such technologies as renewable energy, environmental controls, and the smart grid. EPRI meets traditional and emerging challenges with technological innovation, thought leadership and technical expertise. Our research portfolio addresses a range of issues that change with the times and the technology, even as the underlying expectations remain constant for electricity that is affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible.