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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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What's On Your Skin? Archaea, That's What

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms - (break)and they're not just bacteria. A study by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age.

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Tracking movements of individual particles provides understanding of collective motions, synchronization and self-assembly.

'On Your Mark, Get Set' Neutrons Run Enzyme's Reactivity for Better Biofuel Production

Producing biofuels like ethanol from plant materials requires various enzymes to break down the cellulosic fibers. Researchers from ORNL and NC State used neutrons to identify the specifics of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction that could significantly reduce the total amount of enzymes used, improving production processes and lowering costs.

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Microbe Mystery Solved: What Happened to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Plume

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven't agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now a research team at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

New Class of 'Soft' Semiconductors Could Transform HD Displays

New research by Berkeley Lab scientists could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of "soft" semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.

Could This Strategy Bring High-Speed Communications to the Deep Sea?

A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, Berkeley Lab researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

2-D Material's Traits Could Send Electronics R&D Spinning in New Directions

Researchers created an atomically thin material at Berkeley Lab and used X-rays to measure its exotic and durable properties that make it a promising candidate for a budding branch of electronics known as "spintronics."

Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun's Energy

New material based on common iron ore can help turn intermittent sunlight and water into long-lasting fuel.


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Yi Cui Named Blavatnik National Laureate

Pioneering nanoscientist Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and of photon science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Blavatnik National Laureate. The $250,000 award recognizes the most promising researchers age 42 and younger at top U.S. academic and research institutions.

Protein Data Takes Significant Step Forward in Medicine

Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University are part of a nationwide effort to learn more about the role of proteins in cancer biology and to use that information to benefit cancer patients.

The Electrochemical Society and Toyota North America Announce 2017-2018 Fellowship Winners for Projects in Green Energy Technology

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee has chosen three winners who will receive $50,000 fellowship awards each for projects in green energy technology. The awardees are Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Professor Julie Renner, Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Shuhui Sun, Institut National de la Rechersche Scientifique (INRS).

Chicago Quantum Exchange to Create Technologically Transformative Ecosystem

The University of Chicago is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.

Department of Energy Awards Six Research Contracts Totaling $258 Million to Accelerate U.S. Supercomputing Technology

Today U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that six leading U.S. technology companies will receive funding from the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward program, accelerating the research necessary to deploy the nation's first exascale supercomputers.

Cynthia Jenks Named Director of Argonne's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division

Argonne has named Cynthia Jenks the next director of the laboratory's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. Jenks currently serves as the assistant director for scientific planning and the director of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Division at Ames Laboratory.

Argonne-Developed Technology for Producing Graphene Wins TechConnect National Innovation Award

A method that significantly cuts the time and cost needed to grow graphene has won a 2017 TechConnect National Innovation Award. This is the second year in a row that a team at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials has received this award.

Honeywell UOP and Argonne Seek Research Collaborations in Catalysis Under Technologist in Residence Program

Researchers at Argonne are collaborating with Honeywell UOP scientists to explore innovative energy and chemicals production.

Follow the Fantastic Voyage of the ICARUS Neutrino Detector

The ICARUS neutrino detector, born at Gran Sasso National Lab in Italy and refurbished at CERN, will make its way across the sea to Fermilab this summer. Follow along using an interactive map online.

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Jefferson Sciences Associates announced today the award of eight JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowships. The doctoral students will use the fellowships to support their advanced studies at their universities and conduct research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) - a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear physics laboratory managed and operated by JSA, a joint venture between SURA and PAE Applied Technologies.


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Magnetic Particles that Flock Like Birds

Tracking movements of individual particles provides understanding of collective motions, synchronization and self-assembly.

Graphene Ribbons Result in 100-Fold Increase in Gold Catalyst's Performance

Bottom-up synthesis of tunable carbon nanoribbons provides a new route to enhance industrial, automotive reactions.

Breaking the Rules to Make Electricity from Waste Heat

More atomic bonds is the key for performance in a newly discovered family of cage-structured compounds.

Magnetic Curve Balls

A twisted array of atomic magnets were driven to move in a curved path, a needed level of control for use in future memory devices.

New "Gold Standard" for Flexible Electronics

Simple, economical process makes large-diameter, high-performance, thin, transparent, and conductive foils for bendable LEDs and more.

New Class of Porous Materials Better Separates Carbon Dioxide from Other Gases

Enhanced stability in the presence of water could help reduce smokestack emissions of greenhouse gases.

Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun's Energy

New material based on common iron ore can help turn intermittent sunlight and water into long-lasting fuel.

Oxygen: The Jekyll and Hyde of Biofuels

Scientists are devising ways to protect plants, biofuels and, ultimately, the atmosphere itself from damage caused by an element that sustains life on earth.

The Rise of Giant Viruses

Research reveals that giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, with implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup.

Grasses: The Secrets Behind Their Success

Researchers find a grass gene affecting how plants manage water and carbon dioxide that could be useful to growing biofuel crops on marginal land.


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