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News & Events

10-04-2007

Senator Wright Visits Clarkson to Open Energy Expo

Announces Energy Efficiency Funding for the University

Senator Jim Wright visited Clarkson University today to open the "Clean Energy & Transportation Expo," which features displays and research presentations from Clarkson faculty, students and the community. The focus of the expo is renewable and sustainable energies. As part of his visit to the expo, Senator Wright also announced $250,000 to support the acquisition of an energy efficient combined heating, cooling and electric power system, planned for the new 15,000-square-foot addition to the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center. Senator Wright was joined in making this announcement by Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine.

I am pleased to secure funding which will enable Clarkson to purchase this technology. The energy efficient heating plant will provide a cutting-edge clean energy source for Clarkson, said Senator Wright. "This project is symbolic of their ongoing efforts to study and develop renewable and clean energy technologies. I appreciate Clarkson's leadership and their continued efforts in regard to increasing awareness of the importance of energy efficiency."

We are very pleased that Senator Wright was able to assist us in gaining this support for our energy research endeavors, said Collins. "It is only fitting that as our faculty and students study and introduce new forms of alternative and renewable energy, that we actually put this new and innovative technology to use in providing energy for our new research facilities. The transfer of new technology from our laboratories is already spurring the commercialization of new technologies and creating exciting new entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in the North Country and New York State."

The Clean Energy and Transportation Expo features more than 20 displays and poster presentations from faculty, students and the community on topics like the sustainability of biofuels, wind energy research, biofuel performance and emissions, energy and environmental implications of fuel ethanol production, biodiesel for school buses, and generating biogas on dairy farms.

The Expo complemented the Dieselution Tour mobile exhibit, which is on campus Thursday and Friday. This interactive exhibit highlights current environmental issues and showcases advances in diesel engine technology, design and performance.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, Senator Wright has advanced several legislative initiatives to facilitate further development and use of renewable energies. He sponsored legislation to extend net metering laws to include wind and methane digesters. Senator Wright also advanced a biofuels production tax credit that provides a 15 cents per gallon tax credit to help promote the production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

In addition, Senator Wright secured funding for research being done by Clarkson University on the design of a methane digester at a North Country dairy farm. This pilot project is intended to be a showcase operation for future installations at farms utilizing sand bedding. It is also intended to demonstrate that power produced by anaerobic methane digesters is an economical and feasible energy resource.

The microturbine is the first phase in making the entire campus energy efficient. In keeping with the University's regional alternative and renewable energy technology transfer goals, the microturbine technology will be installed in a configuration to maximize its educational value to students and visitors. Clarkson University plans to invite regional business, industry, government and non-governmental agencies to observe the system and assess its economic and environmental benefits for the buildings they operate.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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