Selection of Case Western Reserve University as one of Ohio's Centers of Excellence in advanced energy has positioned the Great Lakes Energy Institute for collaborative efforts as Ohio strives to become a leader in wind, solar, storage and fuel cell technologies.
The designation, announced recently by Gov. Ted Strickland and Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut, is drawing more attention to the institute, established about two years ago with the help of a grant from The Cleveland Foundation. GLEI is led by faculty and researchers at the Case School of Engineering utilizing the expertise at the university's graduate and professional schools.
"It is our collaborative work with other universities aligned with the needs of the state of Ohio that can in time lead to more funding. It is good for the institute," said Dianne D. Anderson, GLEI executive director.
Legislation signed by the governor last year aims to achieve economic development and job creation, while setting mandates to increase use of alternative energy.
"In the future we see substantial federal funding leading to research for large wind turbines and eventual use right here in Lake Erie," Anderson said. "We also will have borne out of this effort education programs tied to energy that prepare students for entree into renewable fields."
Combined with contributions from Ohio's Third Frontier program and industry partners, Case Western Reserve has plans to install three wind turbines, offering opportunities for companies to test wind energy systems.
J. Iwan D. Alexander, GLEI's faculty director, said a goal of energy research is commercialization, and the designation as one of the Ohio's Centers of Excellence is a step forward.
"The challenge, of course, before us is to deliver energy research outcomes that are impactful within the science and engineering communities in which we operate and, most importantly, that have real energy applications," Alexander said.
Along with Case Western Reserve, universities designated as Centers of Excellence in advanced energy are Bowling Green, Central State, Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio State, Ohio and Toledo.
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