DOE News
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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.
    • 2011-08-08 13:00:00
    • Article ID: 579427

    Washington and Lee University to Install Virginia's Largest Solar Energy System

    Lexington, Va., Aug. 8 –- Washington and Lee University has signed an agreement with Secure Futures L.L.C., a solar-energy developer based in Staunton, Va., to install two solar photovoltaic arrays, totaling approximately 450 kilowatts, at two separate locations on the W&L campus.

    The first solar array, with a capacity of 120 kilowatts, will be installed on a canopy to be constructed over the upper deck of the University's parking structure. Lewis Hall, home of the Washington and Lee School of Law, will host the second array, a rooftop installation with a capacity of 330 kilowatts. Scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the two arrays combined will become the largest solar project in Virginia, with enough power to supply the total average annual electricity needs for the equivalent of 44 homes in Lexington.

    "This is an important step for Washington and Lee as part of our continuing emphasis on sustainability," said Kenneth P. Ruscio, W&L's president. "This is another instance of how we are aligning our institutional practices with what we preach to our students about their duties as responsible citizens and their obligations to future generations."

    When complete, the installations will represent the largest deployment to date of solar power in the commonwealth of Virginia. The roof of Lewis Hall will have 1,032 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels manufactured by the SunPower Corp., and the parking-deck canopy will hold 540 photovoltaic panels made by Sanyo. Washington and Lee has entered into a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Secure Futures to buy the solar-generated electricity.

    The University pursued this opportunity, as the latest element in its sustainability strategy, with a clear eye on the economics of the model.

    "The use of the Power Purchase Agreement makes this a financially viable project for the University, as it allows the University to purchase the electricity generated from the project at a far more effective cost than had we built and operated the structures ourselves," Steve McAllister, Vice President for Finance at the University, stated. “In addition the structure of the agreement provides an option for the University to purchase the system at a later date. This option may prove to yield an even larger economic benefit for the University."

    According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the largest solar project in the state is currently the 104-kilowatt installation on the roof of the Hartzler Library at Eastern Mennonite University, in Harrisonburg, a project Secure Futures developed in the fall of 2010.

    "W&L's commitment to sustainability and thoughtful leadership will now become even more visible through this project. We're delighted to support W&L's leadership in this way," said Dr. Tony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures.

    Washington and Lee has undertaken numerous sustainability initiatives to date across its campus. It also has signed both the Presidents Climate Commitment, an initiative of colleges and universities in the United States, as well as the international Talloires Declaration to incorporate sustainability in teaching, research and University operations. The University has taken campus-wide action in areas including composting, local and organic foods, energy conservation, purchasing, transportation and the management of physical plant. In addition, departments ranging from the University store to printing and copying services have committed to using fewer resources and generating less waste.

    The parking-deck canopy system will be installed by Standard Solar of Rockville, Md., while the Lewis Hall array will be installed by Southern Energy Management based in Morrisville, N.C. Secure Futures has formed a subsidiary company, the Lexington Solar L.C., to develop and operate the project.

    About Secure Futures

    Secure Futures L.L.C. offers clean and affordable solar energy generated on-site to colleges and universities, local governments and other institutions operating in the public interest. Through Solar Power Purchase Agreements (SPPAs), customers can reduce their electricity costs and protect themselves against future price increases from electric utilities without the high up-front cost of installing their own solar power equipment. Secure Futures is based in Staunton, Va., and may be found online at www.securefutures.us.

    About Washington and Lee University

    Washington and Lee University, the nation's ninth oldest institution of higher education, is among the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges and universities. It provides a liberal arts education that develops students' capacity to think freely, critically and humanely and to conduct themselves with honor, integrity and civility. Graduates are prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.

    On the Web

    High res images:

    http://www.wlu.edu/Images/news_highres/parking_canopy.jpg

    http://www.wlu.edu/Images/news_highres/lewis_hall_roof.jpg

    http://www.wlu.edu/Images/news_highres/solar_signing_highres.jpg

    Audio with President Ruscio:

    http://www.wlu.edu/media/ruscio_solar.mp3

    Fact sheet (pdf):

    http://idt.wlu.edu/v6ingeniux/xml/Documents/public_affairs/wlu_solar_facts.pdf

    Contacts: Jeffery G. Hanna, W&L, (540) 458-8459, jhanna@wlu.edu

    Erik Curren, Secure Futures LLC, (540) 466-6128, erik@securefutures.us

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    Science Snapshots September 2020

    Science Snapshots September 2020

    2D Electronics, Plant Biofactories, Transforming Waste, and Vaccine Development.

    Scientists Capture Candid Snapshots of Electrons Harvesting Light at the Atomic Scale

    Scientists Capture Candid Snapshots of Electrons Harvesting Light at the Atomic Scale

    A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has gained important new insight into electrons' role in the harvesting of light in artificial photosynthesis systems.

    Machine Learning Scientists Teach Computers to Read X-Ray Images

    Machine Learning Scientists Teach Computers to Read X-Ray Images

    PNNL researchers used machine learning to develop a tool for a nonprofit to identify orthopedic implants in X-ray images to improve surgical speed and accuracy

    Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

    Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

    Researchers are developing new ways to advance lithium-rich batteries and using new materials for practical use, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

    Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

    Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

    They found that gently heating N95 masks in high relative humidity could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus trapped within the masks, without degrading the masks' performance.

    Machine Learning Takes on Synthetic Biology: Algorithms Can Bioengineer Cells for You

    Machine Learning Takes on Synthetic Biology: Algorithms Can Bioengineer Cells for You

    Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new tool that adapts machine learning algorithms to the needs of synthetic biology to guide development systematically. The innovation means scientists will not have to spend years developing a meticulous understanding of each part of a cell and what it does in order to manipulate it.

    Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

    Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

    Through a one-of-a-kind experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have precisely measured the weak interaction between protons and neutrons. The result quantifies the weak force theory as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

    Novel cell membrane model could be key to uncovering new protein properties

    Novel cell membrane model could be key to uncovering new protein properties

    Researchers have recently shed light on how cell membrane proteins could be influenced by the lipids around them. By developing a novel type of membrane model, they were able to show that the shape and behavior of a protein can be altered by exposure to different lipid compositions. The research team confirmed the artificial membrane's structure using x-ray and neutron scattering at the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Brookhaven (BNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL).

    SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller

    SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller

    A team led by scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has invented a new type of accelerator structure that could make accelerators used for a given application 10 times shorter.

    Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

    Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

    In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are accelerating the hunt for the best possible battery components by employing artificial intelligence.


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    American Physical Society Announces Five 2020 Fellows Affiliated with Jefferson Lab

    American Physical Society Announces Five 2020 Fellows Affiliated with Jefferson Lab

    Five researchers who are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have been selected by their professional peers for the distinct honor of Fellow of the American Physical Society.

    Fermilab scientists selected as APS fellows

    Fermilab scientists selected as APS fellows

    Three Fermilab scientists have been selected 2020 fellows of the American Physical Society, a distinction awarded each year to no more than one-half of 1 percent of current APS members by their peers.

    Renowned physicist and former diagnostics developer at PPPL wins Asia Pacific plasma physics award

    Renowned physicist and former diagnostics developer at PPPL wins Asia Pacific plasma physics award

    Hyeon Park honored with 2020 Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize for Plasma Physics from the Division of Plasma Physics of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies. The prize recognizes Park for his work developing an essential diagnostic tool for tokamak fusion facilities throughout the world.

    The American Nuclear Society designates the groundbreaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor a Nuclear Historic Landmark

    The American Nuclear Society designates the groundbreaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor a Nuclear Historic Landmark

    The record-setting PPPL tokamak that laid the foundation for future fusion power plants receives the distinguished landmark designation from the the American Nuclear Society.

    Brian O'Neill Named New Director for the Joint Global Change Research Institute

    Brian O'Neill Named New Director for the Joint Global Change Research Institute

    O'Neill to lead organization that advances scientific understanding of the ways in which human, energy and environmental systems interact, and has provided input to the White House, Congress, United Nations and other national and international governing and advising bodies.

    SLAC's Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award

    SLAC's Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award

    Xijie Wang, an accelerator physicist at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive the 2021 Nuclear and Plasma Science Society's Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award. Bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of particle accelerator science and technology.

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez named 2020 Luminary Honoree by HENAAC

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez named 2020 Luminary Honoree by HENAAC

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez has been recognized by HENAAC, the national organization that honors Hispanic scientists and engineers.

    DOE Funding Boosts Artificial Intelligence Research at Jefferson Lab

    DOE Funding Boosts Artificial Intelligence Research at Jefferson Lab

    Two physicists at DOE's Jefferson Lab have secured $2.16 million in funding for projects that harness the power of data analytics to make the work of studying the universe down to its smallest subatomic parts faster and more efficient.

    Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T extend climate resiliency project nationwide

    Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T extend climate resiliency project nationwide

    Argonne and AT&T have been working together to project risks from changing climate on America's Southeastern region. Today they've announced that they're extending their analysis to cover the entire contiguous U.S.

    Key Partners Mark Launch of Electron-Ion Collider Project

    Key Partners Mark Launch of Electron-Ion Collider Project

    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar, leaders from DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven Lab) and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), and elected officials from New York State and Virginia today commemorated the start of the Electron-Ion Collider project.


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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


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