Energy Sec. announces $193M for energy research

April 29, 2009 12:51:29 PM PDT
The primary U.S. lab for renewable energy will receive $110 million in federal stimulus money and another $83 million will go toward wind energy efficiency and other alternative power projects, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday. "Wind energy will be one of the most important contributors to meeting President Obama's target of generating 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2012," Chu said.

NREL, in Golden, will get $68 million for an energy-efficient office building, with hopes of creating a design process for use on other construction projects. NREL will also receive $19.2 million for solar, geothermal and fuel cell equipment to produce electricity for its labs and $13.5 million for upgrades to its biorefinery research facility.

NREL will get another $10 million for testing and evaluation of wind technology at the Energy Department's Wind Technology Center in Colorado.

The wind energy research money to be administered by DOE includes $45 million to research and test drive-train systems for wind turbines, $14 million to encourage private industry development of lighter, more advanced materials for wind turbine components and $24 million to develop up to three partnerships between universities and industry to focus on critical technological improvements for wind energy.

Chu's visit to the lab was his first as head of the Energy Department. He is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, Calif. The Energy Department is managing $39 billion in grants, tax breaks and loan guarantees under the stimulus package, with much of it going to renewable energy and conservation programs. ---

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