Solar Center Adds Alternative Fuels Facility

Environmental leaders from across North Carolina gathered to dedicate an Alternative Fuels Vehicle demonstration facility and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the North Carolina Solar Center. The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association was also recognized for 25 years of service in renewable energies. The event was held at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Solar House.

Raleigh, North Carolina – November 12, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The Alternative Fuels Vehicle (AFV) Facility will serve as a research and education facility for a variety of alternative fuels. An assortment of vehicles is housed at the facility to demonstrate the use of these alternative fuels. The outreach mission of the facility is further enhanced by hands-on displays and guided tours to explain alternative fuel use, production, and impact. Roof integrated photovoltaic panels provide a portion of the electrical energy required to charge the batteries of the demonstration electric vehicles. The AFV Facility is adjacent to the NCSU Solar House. Maintained and administered by the North Carolina Solar Center, the Solar House has developed into a leading educational and demonstration showcase for solar and energy-efficient technologies. In the successful tradition of the Solar House, the new AFV facility adds alternative fuels to the North Carolina Solar Center’s outreach, education and research activities. The dedication and anniversary included the showcase of a small-scale biodiesel-processing facility, a 1 kW Bergey wind turbine, and six alternative fuel vehicles. The vehicles encompassed a wide range of alternative fuel technologies, including a biodiesel dump truck and a propane vehicle from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT). The event was highlighted by speeches from Secretary Bill Ross, of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Deputy Secretary Carlton Myrick, of the North Carolina Department of Administration; and NCSU Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs John Gilligan. Kim Kristoff, who is the President of Gemtek Products and the Chairman of the Biobased Manufacturers Association, gave the keynote address on realizing the potential of biomass technologies. State Representative Joe Tolson (D-Edgecombe, North Carolina) was also recognized with an award for his leadership in the promotion of alternative fuels use in North Carolina. Founded in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center represents a singular partnership among the state government of North Carolina, the College of Engineering and Industrial Extension Service of NCSC, and the solar energy industry. Recognizing the need for a central clearinghouse that could assist the state’s citizens, businesses and institutions in utilizing renewable energy, these entities joined forces to launch the Solar Center with sponsorship from the State Energy Office of the North Carolina Department of Administration and also the U.S. Department of Energy. The mission of the North Carolina Solar Center is to advance the use of renewable energy resources to ensure a sustainable economy that protects our natural environment, encourages energy independence, and lowers energy costs for consumers. The dedication of the AFV Facility continues this mission into the field of Alternative Fuels through research and education.

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