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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2010-07-27 09:30:00
  • Article ID: 566852

Texas Governor Announces $8.4 Million Award to Create Renewable Energy Institute

Texas Tech University and the National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE), a non-profit, public/private collaboration, will receive $8.4 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) allowing them to help resolve key scientific and technology issues facing the wind power industry.

The announcement came today (July 26) from Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Tech University System, the Innovate Texas Foundation and The Wind Alliance.

“Texas is home to some of the brightest minds in the energy business, both in the private sector and at our world-class universities, like Texas Tech,” Gov. Perry said. “This TETF investment will ensure that Texas can continue to add wind capacity and prepare to connect wind farms to the grid and our major cities, helping address the growing energy needs of a population that is expanding by about 1,000 people per day.”

Texas Tech and its wind research organizations will receive $6.4 million of the award.

“We are thrilled to receive this Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant,” Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance said. “Texas Tech is nationally recognized as a leader in wind-energy research. As our country moves toward energy independence, Texas Tech will continue to create innovative solutions and make advancements in all areas of the power generation sector. Because of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, consumers will benefit more quickly from the ever expanding investments in wind power generation technologies.”

Wind power will fuel more than high-paying jobs by providing incremental power production and expanding rural community and school district tax receipts. When combined with other forms of energy, wind power expands energy independence and extends Texas’ global energy leadership.

NIRE will receive $2 million in support of its plans to design, construct and operate research wind farms, selling the power generated in the commercial marketplace to fund a non-profit research center. NIRE also will provide services to industry partners and offer an industry consortium, which will be managed by The Wind Alliance.

National organizations supporting NIRE include the American Wind Energy Association, The Wind Alliance and The Wind Coalition. They will be joined by as many as 30 private-sector firms with large investments in renewable energy projects.

Organizational planning support for the initiative was provided by Innovate Texas Foundation, a non-profit institution that serves as a catalyst for collaboration and transactions among universities, industry, investors and government enabling them to engage with the global economy more efficiently and effectively.

Two significant private-sector NIRE partners include Vestas Wind Systems, a leader in the wind sector with more than 40,000 turbines deployed worldwide, and Alstom Power Inc., a global leader in power generation.

“Vestas congratulates Texas Tech University for receiving support from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund,” said Carsten Hein Westergaard, director of global technology for Vestas. “These funds will go a long way toward furthering public academic research in wind energy. Vestas is also committed to supporting Texas Tech in the field of wind energy research, and we look forward to a meaningful collaborative relationship.”

“We are excited about the development of NIRE and appreciate the leadership of Texas Tech University in research and work force development within the wind power sector,” said Philippe Cochet, senior vice president of Alstom wind and hydro business divisions. “We view our collaboration with NIRE and Texas Tech as another key step in our commitment to work with R&D leaders in the wind industry as we enter the North American market.”

The National Wind Resource Center (NWRC), established by Texas Tech University, will serve as the research center with support from many of the nation’s leading research universities, each utilizing its unique areas of expertise within the renewable energy sector. The consortium also includes several nationally recognized workforce development leaders. Additional information about the research center will be announced within the coming month.

Initial plans for the Texas Tech-led coalition and national institute include:

• Facilitating technology development to further decrease the cost of wind energy and other renewable energy sources and to develop and optimize energy storage technologies

• Hiring additional world-class renewable energy scientists at Texas Tech to direct research

• Purchasing mobile equipment to map wind flows and help design more efficient commercial wind farms

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu.

CONTACT: David L. Miller, vice chancellor of commercialization, Texas Tech University System, (806) 742-4105 or david.l.miller@ttu.edu.

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Rutgers Scientists Discover 'Legos of Life'

Rutgers scientists have found the "Legos of life" - four core chemical structures that can be stacked together to build the myriad proteins inside every organism - after smashing and dissecting nearly 10,000 proteins to understand their component parts. The four building blocks make energy available for humans and all other living organisms, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Small Hydroelectric Dams Increase Globally with Little Research, Regulations

University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world -- including their potential for growth -- and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorized, regulated and studied.

Researchers Reveal How Microbes Cope in Phosphorus-Deficient Tropical Soil

A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Scientists Discover Material Ideal for Smart Photovoltaic Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties.

Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-Ton Estimate

Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? The answer is yes.

On the Rebound

New research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University has found that palladium nanoparticles can repair atomic dislocations in their crystal structure, potentially leading to other advances in material science.

Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

A Shortcut to Modeling Sickle Cell Disease

Using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer, a team led by Brown University's George Karniadakis devised a multiscale model of sickle cell disease that captures what happens inside a red blood cell affected by the disease.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.


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Superconducting X-Ray Laser Takes Shape in Silicon Valley

An area known for high-tech gadgets and innovation will soon be home to an advanced superconducting X-ray laser that stretches 3 miles in length, built by a collaboration of national laboratories. On January 19, the first section of the machine's new accelerator arrived by truck at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park after a cross-country journey that began in Batavia, Illinois, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Kelsey Stoerzinger Earns Young Investigator Lectureship

Kelsey Stoerzinger, Pauling Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is one of the 2018 Caltech Young Investigator Lecturers in Engineering and Applied Physics.

North Dakota State University Joins Two National Distributed Computing Groups

The NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) joins OSG (Open Science Grid) and XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

DOE Announces Funding for New HPC4Manufacturing Industry Projects

The Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) today announced the funding of $1.87 million for seven new industry projects under an ongoing initiative designed to utilize DOE's high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance U.S. manufacturing and clean energy technologies.

DOE Announces First Awardees for New HPC4Materials for Severe Environments Program

The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) today announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships under a brand-new initiative aimed at discovering, designing and scaling up production of novel materials for severe environments.

Two Argonne Scientists Recognized for a Decade of Breakthroughs

Two scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been named to the Web of Science's Highly Cited List of 2017, ranking in the top 1 percent of their peers by citations and subject area. Materials Scientist Khalil Amine and Energy and Environmental Policy Scientist David Streets say they are thrilled to see their work -- and the laboratory -- recognized in such a way.

Argonne Welcomes Department of Energy Secretary Perry

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Argonne National Laboratory yesterday, getting a first-hand view of the multifaceted and interdisciplinary research program laboratory of the Department.

Argonne names John Quintana Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and COO

John Quintana has been named Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Developing Next-Generation Sensing Technologies

Recently, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $20 million in funding for 15 projects that will develop a new class of sensor systems to enable significant energy savings via reduced demand for heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings.

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Offshore wind is becoming a reality in the United States, especially in the northeast states. To support this development, the Center for Future Energy System (CFES) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will present a webinar titled "Turbine and Transmission System Technologies for Offshore Wind (OSW) Power Plants." The program will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. Advance registration is required.


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Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally

New open-source software simulates river and runoff resources.

Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models

New measurements offer data vital to projecting plant response to environmental changes.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall

Plasma physicists significantly improve the vertical stability of a Korean fusion device.

Graphene Flexes Its Muscle

Crumpling reduces rigidity in an otherwise stiff material, making it less prone to catastrophic failure.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.

What's the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?

The magnetic noise caused by adsorbed oxygen molecules is "eating at" the phase stability of quantum bits, mitigating the noise is vital for future quantum computers.

Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry

An electric field switches the conductivity on and off in atomic-scale channels, which could allow for upgrades at will.

Filtering Water Better than Nature

Water passes through human-made straws faster than the "gold standard" protein, allowing us to filter seawater.

Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World

Machine learning and neural networks are the foundation of artificial intelligence and image recognition, but now they offer a bridge to see and recognize exotic insulating phases in quantum materials.


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