UT named Center of Excellence for renewable energy, environment

October 29, 2009 | News, UToday
By Matt Lockwood

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced Wednesday that The University of Toledo has been named a Center of Excellence in Advanced Renewable Energy and the Environment.

The center will tap UT’s academic and research strengths to address the need for new clean-energy technologies and a better understanding of complex environmental systems necessary for solving global challenges.

UT’s Center of Excellence in Advanced Renewable Energy and the Environment’s core areas of research and technology development will be focused around solar, biomass energy, wind, energy storage, conversion and management, and environmental and ecosystems. These efforts will support local industrial growth in companies that are expanding their products to become competitive in the global markets.

Strickland will visit and tour UT’s Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator Thursday, Oct. 29. He is expected to talk about the future of alternative energy in Ohio.

During the last decade, UT has invested heavily in faculty and research infrastructure in the area of alternative energy and recently created a School of Solar and Advanced Renewable Energy and dedicated the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.

The Centers of Excellence, as outlined in the state’s 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education, will position the University System of Ohio to be a magnet for talent and a leader in innovation and entrepreneurial activity by developing distinct missions for each institution that are recognized by students, faculty and business leaders, while eliminating unnecessary competition for resources, students and faculty in the state.

In all, the state named nine Centers of Excellence focused in different areas of advanced energy at eight universities throughout Ohio. The centers are expected to help the state meet the requirements of Senate Bill 221, an energy reform bill signed by the governor last year. The bill mandates that 25 percent of all Ohio’s electricity production come from advanced energy sources by 2025. The bill also aims to ensure predictability of affordable energy prices and attract new jobs to the state.

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