Gov. Bill Ritter to Kick Off Inaugural Symposium for New Colorado Wind Research Center Aug. 14

August 10, 2009

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will join state and federal administrators, scientists and engineers from three Colorado universities and three federal laboratories Aug. 14 at the University of Colorado at Boulder for the inaugural symposium of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory's Center for Research and Education in Wind, or CREW.

The mission of CREW is to work with private and industrial partners to advance the science of wind energy technologies and make wind power more accessible by reducing costs and increasing reliability and efficiency. CREW's founding members include leading national and international wind power manufacturers, developers, operators and consultants and include such companies as Mitsubishi, RES Americas Inc., Siemens, Vestas and WindLogics.

Gov. Ritter will kick off the Aug. 14 symposium at 8:10 a.m., followed by other elected officials and representatives of the CREW research institutions. Following opening remarks, CREW's scientific leadership will provide an overview of the research thrusts of the new center, including turbine modeling, electrical systems and grid modeling, control systems to reduce energy costs, turbine testing and certification, and environmental sensing integration and evaluation. The event is open only to invited participants.

CREW is a research center of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, a consortium charged with developing new, cutting-edge energy technologies in Colorado that can be rapidly transferred to the marketplace. The Collaboratory includes the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, the Colorado School of Mines and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

CREW's also offers its private members the research strengths of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, two of the world's leading institutions in wind forecasting and modeling.

Like all of the Collaboratory research centers, CREW will work closely with private companies in the United States and abroad, as well as nonprofit organizations and venture capitalists to promote networking, innovation and new market opportunities, said Collaboratory Executive Director David Hiller.

"Advances in technology will be meaningful only if those technologies are deployed in the marketplace," said Hiller. "CREW's private members will play key roles in helping to direct areas of research and then translating research successes into commercially viable technologies." Hiller said CREW expects to recruit many additional members in the coming years.

CREW Scientific Director Lucy Pao, a CU-Boulder professor in the electrical, computer and energy engineering department, said Colorado currently ranks sixth in wind power production capacity in the nation. "With wind energy as the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the world with a projected annual growth rate of more than 20 percent, the launch of CREW is very timely," said Pao. "We have been working closely with our private members and institutional partners to develop CREW for the past two years, and the interest among faculty, students and companies has been phenomenal."

During the Aug. 14 symposium CREW researchers, founding member companies and potential new member companies will discuss areas of interest for shared research. Breakout sessions and poster sessions will allow students, scientists and engineers to discuss areas of research in more detail. There also will be opportunities for attendees from the institutions and companies to tour some of CREW's laboratories and other facilities.

The Collaboratory currently oversees two energy research centers in addition to CREW: the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels led by CU-Boulder and the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion, led by NREL. While CU-Boulder will serve as CREW's lead institution, research will be conducted at campuses and labs of all six CREW research institutions.

NREL's National Wind Technology Center, for example, offers a turbine testing and certification program that includes a blade-testing facility, a dynamometer facility to measure force and strength of turbines and extensive field-testing equipment.

CREW partners also are developing a "Green Power Project," a research test bed located on the 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch northwest of Fort Collins that currently is part of CSU's research facilities. In addition to the research effort, the Green Power Project is expected to provide more than 65 megawatts of power production capacity, enough to power CU-Boulder, CSU and CSM.

The CREW effort also includes wind energy policy research, wind energy courses at partner universities and an outreach program to Colorado landowners, ranchers and others interested in tapping the potential of wind power in the state.

Three other Collaboratory research centers are under development: The Carbon Management Center, the Energy Efficiency & Management Center and the Solar Technology Acceleration Center-Research Partnership.

For more information on CREW visit www.coloradocollaboratory.org/crew.html or contact Florence Bocquet, CREW managing director, at 303-492-6748 or Florence.Bocquet@colorado.edu. For more information on the Collaboratory visit www.coloradocollaboratory.org/ or contact David Hiller at 303-376-2631 or David.Hiller@coloradoCollaboratory.org.

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