Senate Energy Chair Provides Renewables Money

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded US$430,000 to the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, to develop a major renewable energy project on the campus.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-10-23 [] The funds will help SIPI to build a 1.5 kW wind turbine and an 11 kW solar system to generate electricity for the campus. The PV system will be built over a parking lot to provide shade for cars, similar to a system in place at the Indian Pueblo Culture Center. Excess energy generated by the system will be sold. Solar thermal panels will be purchased to heat water for campus dorms and to provide warm air to heat buildings in winter. SIPI will also purchase a mobile solar hybrid system that the college can use to demonstrate solar power technology at native reservations across the state. SIPI will construct a weather station for students to study power output of renewable power systems under different weather conditions. Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which oversees the DOE, announced the grant. The committee has authorised funding for research of emerging energy technologies, legislatively boosting investment in renewables from $450 to $733 million by 2006. “Our country needs to support emerging technologies that show promise in producing abundant energy in an efficient and environmentally sound way,” says Bingaman. “I believe the energy plan my committee is crafting will do just that.”
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