CAER Holds Two Major Press Conferences Three Weeks Apart
At a location where you are far more likely to see scientists than politicians, it was unusual to find TV cameras, reporters, state officials, and elected legislators at the energy park on October 21st and November 8th. What brought them here? They were attending two important press announcements by the CAER.
At the first event, the CAER and UK's Dept. of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, along with East Kentucky Power Cooperative and The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet held a press conference to announce a project that scales-up algae to convert CO2 to biomass from greenhouse scale to a similar, but larger, operation at the Dale Power Station in Winchester. The technology is so promising that the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is committing nearly $1.3 million over two years for the CAER to demonstrate the process at East Kentucky Power Cooperative's Dale Power Station in Winchester, Ky. EKPC is contributing in-kind costs to the project estimated at $75,000, and UK is providing a $543,663 cost share.
The second occasion featured Congressmen Geoff Davis and Hal Rogers who were on hand for the groundbreaking of a UK coal/biomass-to-liquids unit that could lead to development of vehicle fuels made from Kentucky coal and biomass.
The facility could produce transportation fuels from these indigenous resources, which could help guarantee the nation's energy future. The unit will also focus on state-of-the art technologies to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide created when converting coal and biomass to liquid fuels. The gasification unit will be capable of producing one barrel of fuel per day. Funding for the process-development unit includes support by the U.S. Department of Energy ($4.55 million), the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet ($708,000), and a UK cost share ($453,000).
UK President Eli Capilouto, State Energy Secretary Len Peters, and State House Floor Majority Leader Rocky Adkins spoke at both events. Mr. Adkins, who is an advisory board member, was the emcee. That these three busy, important individuals find the CAER's work important enough to carve out time for these events makes us extremely humble and appreciative.
This is a period of significant expansion and growth at CAER in terms of facilities, staff, and grants. To find out more about what is happening, go to our web site, blog, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.