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Udall ‘Thrilled’ that NREL to Receive Millions of Dollars for Research, Development and Construction

Udall Fought for NREL to Carve the Way in Creating Green Jobs and Strengthening Colorado as a National Leader in the New Green Energy Economy

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall praised Energy Secretary Steven Chu's announcement that Colorado's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) would receive more than $110 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to advance wind, solar, geothermal and cellulosic ethanol production as well as to promote energy efficiency efforts.

Senator Udall has fought for years to ensure that NREL has the staff and budget it needs to keep making cutting-edge advancements in renewable energy production and energy efficiency. In phone calls, letters, and meetings this year, Senator Udall urged the Energy Department and Secretary Chu to recognize that NREL and Colorado are critical to America's efforts to strengthen a promising sector of the economy and become energy independent.

"I am thrilled with this announcement today. This funding shows that Secretary Chu and the Administration have listened to our call, and that they recognize that NREL and Colorado represent the way forward as we work to build a new green energy economy," Senator Udall said.

"This funding is going to help ensure that NREL has the building and infrastructure it needs to do state-of-the-art research and development. It will help our country make big leaps forward in wind energy production - one of the most promising sources of renewable energy. And most importantly, it's going to help create good-paying jobs in a growing industry that will help strengthen our economy for decades to come," Udall added.

"This is only the beginning of the potential for NREL and Colorado, and I'll continue to fight for funding and resources for the lab and other renewable energy initiatives. I believe that with the wind on the eastern plans, the sun in the San Luis Valley, and the great minds at NREL and Colorado's research institutions, we can help lead the world toward energy independence and a strong future."

In his visit to NREL today, Chu announced $93 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Support Wind Energy Projects, including $10 million for the National Wind Technology Center at NREL.

This funding will enhance the lab's ability to support the wind industry through testing current and next generation wind turbine drive train systems for better performance and reliability. In addition, upgrades to the electrical distribution system will permit cost recovery of the power produced by two new utility-scale wind turbines being installed there for testing and evaluation.

Chu also announced NREL will receive additional funding through the Recovery Act:

• $68 million for a Research Support Facility to create the nation's most energy efficient office building at the same cost of low-efficiency commercial construction today - with the goal being a design process that can be replicated by future construction projects.

• $19.2 million for Renewable Energy and Site Infrastructure to use solar and possibly geothermal and fuel cells to replace power currently purchased from utilities.

• $13.5 million for upgrades to the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility to help develop commercial scale cellulose-to-ethanol technologies and accelerate the development of commercially viable processes.

By: Tara Trujillo at (202) 224-5941
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