Three research projects, worth US$2.8 million and funded by Exel Energy as part of a program to advance renewable energy, have gone to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.GOLDEN, Colorado, US, 2002-01-15 [SolarAccess.com] One project is to develop a filter that can remove potential pollutants from systems that produce energy from biomass. NREL will manage that $639,000 contract, together with Community Power Corp of Littleton, Colorado and MagStar Technologies of Hopkins, Minnesota, as subcontractors. A second project for $935,000 will research a solid state Titania solar cell. The third, in which NREL is subcontractor to the Colorado School of Mines, will develop new electro-catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. That contract totals $1.1 million. NREL was selected as part of the laboratory’s ongoing effort to seek new areas of research and extend the lab’s reach through partnerships with companies, universities and other groups. “Xcel Energy is excited about the potential for these research projects to result in significant leaps forward in our understanding of new renewable energy technologies,” says John Lupo, manager of Xcel’s Renewable Development Fund. A 1994 Minnesota law established the Renewable Development Fund, which supports research into renewable energy through payments from utilities with nuclear reactors in that state. “Our national lab is pleased to have this opportunity to work with Xcel, the Colorado School of Mines and innovative research and development companies in these important endeavors,” adds Stan Bull of NREL. The lab is a centre of research for wind, solar, biomass and other renewable energy technologies.