DOE News Release
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007

Center for Advanced Energy Studies established to help secure our energy future

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Tim Jackson, DOE Idaho Field Office, (208) 526-8484

Center for Advanced Energy Studies established to help secure our energy future

Today, top U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials congratulated Idaho State University, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and their educational partners at a groundbreaking ceremony in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for a new building that will house the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES). World-class academic work at this Center will focus on helping the nation address critical energy science and engineering issues.

"The Department of Energy is eager to see the work that comes out of the CAES facility. The work conducted at the CAES facility will contribute to the Administration's effort to continue to aggressively pursue the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil while encouraging scientific innovation and discovery," Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said.

"Special acknowledgement is deserved for the Idaho Congressional Delegation, led by Sen. Larry Craig, Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson, for underscoring the importance of the CAES. This bricks-and-mortar step testifies that we are dedicated to aggressively pursuing the science that will deliver energy solutions, the policies that will advance energy security in the United States and around the world, and the networking between academia and energy researchers that will produce results."

Assistant Secretary Spurgeon noted that establishment of the CAES by DOE's INL contractor Battelle Energy Alliance was a requirement in the contract Battelle signed when DOE hired it to operate INL in February 2005.

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies is a public/private partnership among Boise State University (BSU), Idaho State University (ISU), University of Idaho (UI), and Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

ISU President Arthur Vailas hosted the event, which included Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Sen. Craig, Sen. Crapo, Rep. Simpson, Rep. Bill Sali, UI President Tim White, BSU Vice President for Research Mark Rudin, INL Director John Grossenbacher, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman, Board of Education representatives and other state officials.

"This is a special occasion because we see CAES bringing together resources, capabilities and expertise to support the nation's transformation to sustainable energy self-reliance," CAES Interim Director Harold Blackman said. "The future in energy research is critical to our nation's future."

The state of Idaho-owned CAES building will be located on state property near University Place in Idaho Falls on the banks of the Snake River. The two-story edifice will be about 55,000 square feet in size. The nearly $17 million of funding for its construction involves multiple sources, including state of Idaho and Idaho State University bonds with guarantees from Battelle Memorial Institute and Washington Group International.

Once completed, the CAES facility will be a premier international facility for promoting and performing research and revitalizing education and training in energy science, engineering, technology, policy conceptualization and related disciplines. The CAES partners have expertise in fields including nuclear engineering, materials science, advanced modeling and simulation, chemical sciences, biotechnology, environmental stewardship and energy policy.

State officials and CAES member institutions expect construction of the user-facility to be completed in 2008. INL will lease space in the facility.

The benefits to DOE, the public, its universities and industrial partners, INL and other federal agencies will include:

  • Fostering public dialogue, communications, and innovation for the difficult energy decisions of the next decade,
  • Supporting sound energy policy leading the U.S. toward improved energy security,
  • Providing a support organization and infrastructure for industry and academia to access INL and its unique research capabilities,
  • Appropriately integrating the research and educational capabilities of participating institutions to strengthen existing DOE programs,
  • Expediting the commercialization of advanced energy-related technology through the co-location and collaboration of government-university-industry energy-related efforts, and
  • Supporting the development of the future, high-technology energy work force.

Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the DOE's strategic goal areas of energy, national security, science and environment. Specifically, INL is the nation's leading center of nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

Financing of the CAES building involves multiple fund sources and no direct DOE line funding. The following funding mechanisms provide for construction of the CAES facility:

  • $4.9 million from the state of Idaho through the INEEL Settlement Fund
  • $1.6 million from the state of Idaho in Housing and Urban Development grants
  • $10 million in bonds issued to ISU to be guaranteed by Battelle Memorial Institute ($8.8 million) and Washington Group International ($1.2 million).


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