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ENVIRONMENTAL
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UC Irvine nets $2 million to become renewable energy lab

Statewide program seeks to better electricity production and transportation.

By Kristen SchottPublished: September 15, 2009 08:43 AM

UC Irvine's Advanced Power & Energy Program at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering has garnered $2 million as part of a statewide program that is working to make electricity generation and transportation safer, cleaner and more affordable for Californians. The project will establish the campus as a living renewable energy laboratory.

The California Energy Commission gave UCI about $1 million for the project, and the rest of the grant was generated from Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. and CTG Energetics, among others.

Through the fund, APEP will create a framework for a cost-effective and reliable energy infrastructure that relies on renewable resources – solar photovoltaics, wind and biomass fuels – and will also improve transportation, waste management and the energy efficiency of buildings. The work will help local residential areas formulate their own climate-neutral energy infrastructures.

UCI's current research and commitment to sustainable energy practices, as well as the campus's energy efficient design, will be implemented throughout the project.

"The living laboratory will include the existing 1 megawatt solar installation, building-efficiency practices and energy infrastructure," says APEP director Scott Samuelsen, a mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering professor who will also manage the project.

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