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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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Laser-Free Method of Ion Cooling Has Range of Potential Uses

Prof. Daniel Zajfman's universal ion trap cools to a tenth of a degree above absolute zero. The new method does not depend on the type or the weight of the ion and, thus, might be used to investigate the properties of large biological molecules or nanoparticles, among other things.

Tiny Lasers from a Gallery of Whispers

Whispering gallery mode resonators rely on a phenomenon similar to an effect observed in circular galleries, and the same phenomenon applies to light. When light is stored in ring-shaped or spherical active resonators, the waves superimpose in such a way that it can result in laser light. This week in APL Photonics, investigators report a new type of dye-doped WGM micro-laser that produces light with tunable wavelengths.

Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies coming out of Berkeley Lab tackling the challenge of a creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use.

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

Berkeley Lab scientists have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

New Evidence for Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Quark-Gluon Plasma?

UPTON, NY--Particles emerging from even the lowest energy collisions of small deuterons with large heavy nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)--a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory--exhibit behavior scientists associate with the formation of a soup of quarks and gluons, the fundamental building blocks of nearly all visible matter.

New Insights Into Nanocrystal Growth in Liquid

PNNL researchers have measured the forces that cause certain crystals to assemble, revealing competing factors that researchers might be able to control. The work has a variety of implications in both discovery and applied science. In addition to providing insights into the formation of minerals and semiconductor nanomaterials, it might also help scientists understand soil as it expands and contracts through wetting and drying cycles.

Discovery Could Reduce Nuclear Waste with Improved Method to Chemically Engineer Molecules

A new chemical principle discovered by scientists at Indiana University has the potential to revolutionize the creation of specially engineered molecules whose uses include the reduction of nuclear waste and the extraction of chemical pollutants from water and soil.

Biologist Reaches Into Electric Eel Tank, Comes Out with Equation to Measure Shocks

Vanderbilt University researcher Ken Catania stuck his arm into a tank with small electric eel 10 times -- the only way to get accurate measurements of the circuit created by animal, arm and water.

Fungi: Gene Activator Role Discovered

Specific modifications to fungi DNA may hold the secret to turning common plant degradation agents into biofuel producers.

New Study on Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Makes Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cells

A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides insight into how an ultrathin coating can enhance the performance of graphene-wrapped nanocrystals for hydrogen storage applications.


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Wayne State Receives $1.2 Million NSF Grant to Develop Autonomous Battery Operating System

Researchers at Wayne State University led by Nathan Fisher, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering, received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to address the need for effective, integrative battery operating systems that provide sustained and reliable power.

UAH leads effort that secures $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation

A partnership comprising nine universities in Alabama, including The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as the lead institution, has been awarded a $20 million, five-year grant by the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

Sandia Labs Wins 5 Regional Technology Transfer Awards

Sandia National Laboratories won five awards from the 2017 Federal Laboratory Consortium for its work to develop and commercialize innovative technologies.

Tulane Receives Grant to Reduce Auto Emissions

Members of Tulane University's Shantz Lab will work with industrial scientists to assist in the development of next-generation materials designed to reduce harmful automotive emissions. The three-year old lab and its group of students have received a grant and equipment resources from SACHEM, Inc., a chemical science company.

Lab Leads New Effort in Materials Development

Lawrence Livermore National Lab will be part of a multi-lab effort to apply high-performance computing to US-based industry's discovery, design, and development of materials for severe environments under a new initiative announced by the Department of Energy (DOE) on Sept. 19.

ORNL Innovation Crossroads Program Opens Second Round of Energy Entrepreneurial Fellowships

Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the second round of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Innovation Crossroads program.

Los Alamos Recognized as Top Diversity Employer

For the second straight year, Los Alamos National Laboratory was recognized as a top diversity employer by LATINA Style and STEM Workforce Diversity magazine.

SLAC-Led Project Will Use Artificial Intelligence to Prevent or Minimize Electric Grid Failures

A project led by the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will combine artificial intelligence with massive amounts of data and industry experience from a dozen U.S. partners to identify places where the electric grid is vulnerable to disruption, reinforce those spots in advance and recover faster when failures do occur.

Chaudhuri named Director of Manufacturing Science and Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory announces the appointment of Santanu Chaudhuri, Ph.D., as the Director of the Laboratory's new Manufacturing Science and Engineering initiative, effective Sept. 14, 2017

Boise State Researchers Earn Grants to Manufacture Sensors for Nuclear Reactors, Space

National grants will be used to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment needed to build sensors suitable for extreme environments.


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Fungi: Gene Activator Role Discovered

Specific modifications to fungi DNA may hold the secret to turning common plant degradation agents into biofuel producers.

First Look at a Living Cell Membrane

Neutrons provide the solution to nanoscale examination of living cell membrane and confirm the existence of lipid rafts.

High Yield Biomass Conversion Strategy Ready for Commercialization

Researchers convert 80 percent of biomass into high-value products with strategy that's ready for commercialization.

Consequences of Drought Stress on Biofuels

Switchgrass cultivated during a year of severe drought inhibited microbial fermentation and resulting biofuel production.

Clay Minerals and Metal Oxides Change How Uranium Travels Through Sediments

Montmorillonite clays prevent uranium from precipitating from liquids, letting it travel with groundwater.

Tundra Loses Carbon with Rapid Permafrost Thaw

Seven-year-study shows plant growth does not sustainably balance carbon losses from solar warming and permafrost thaw.

Crystals Grow by Twisting, Aligning and Snapping Together

Van der Waals force, which that enables tiny crystals to grow, could be used to design new materials.

Vitamin B12 Fuels Microbial Growth

Scarce compound, vitamin B12, is key for cellular metabolism and may help shape microbial communities that affect environmental cycles and bioenergy production.

Carbon in Floodplain Unlikely to Cycle into the Atmosphere

Microbes leave a large fraction of carbon in anoxic sediments untouched, a key finding for understanding how watersheds influence Earth's ecosystem.

Bacterial Cell Wall Changes Produce More Fatty Molecules

New strategy greatly increases the production and secretion of biofuel building block lipids in bacteria able to grow at industrial scales.


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