10/14/2010 Archived Entry: "CAER's New Renewable Energy Building Groundbreaking"

nist_groundbreaking (54k image)
The day's speakers were (from left) Tom Jensen, Kentucky State Senator; Lee T. Todd Jr., President, UK; Rodney Andrews, Director, CAER; Stella Fiotes, Chief Facilities Management Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Steve Beshear, Governor, Commonwealth of Kentucky; Jim Newberry, Mayor, Lexington-Fayette Urban COunty Government; Greg Stumbo, Kentucky Speaker of the House; and Rocky Adkins, Kentucky House Majority Leader and CAER board member.

CAER broke ground yesterday on what will become the university's first LEED-certified laboratory. The $19.8 million renewable energy laboratory will allow the Center to expand research devoted to Kentucky's growing renewable energy industries, including biomass and biofuels, electrochemical power sources (like capacitors and batteries), and distributed solar energy technologies.

Architects, engineers, and researchers were on site at the groundbreaking discussing and demonstrating what will go into making the 43,000 sq. foot lab UK's first LEED-Gold laboratory building. The facility will be a living laboratory with interpretive displays and activities for school children, visitors and the general public related to the building's energy consumption and the technologies and research that will be conducted there.

The facility is being funded by a competitive grant won last year from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act's (ARRA) NIST Construction Grant Program. The award consisted of $11.8 million in federal funds, with matching resources of $3.5 million provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and $1 million from UK. An additional award of $3.5 million in state ARRA funds has also been provided by the Department of Energy Development and Independence to achieve LEED certification and insure this new laboratory is a model for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Also attending were representatives from Argonne National Lab, as the laboratory will complement and create important collaborations with the recently announced Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center to be located adjacent to the facility. An agreement is in place with the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the shared use of the new facility, with portions of the laboratory purposely designed and specially equipped to accommodate capacitor and battery manufacturing research and development.

A version of this article by Jenny Wells appeared on UKNow.

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