Chesterton Tribune



VU gets $2.3 million grant for solar energy tech

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U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, has announced that Valparaiso University was awarded a $2,301,379 grant through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The award will enable energy efficient, lightweight metals manufacturing by incorporating solar technologies in a metals production process,” according to a statement released today.

“More specifically, this technology will provide the College of Engineering faculty and students the opportunity to develop a unique electrochemical cell that produces magnesium using solar-thermal energy in their metals separation process, which could potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions and electricity consumption associated with current metals manufacturing.”

“I am proud of Valparaiso University for being at the forefront of innovation in energy research,” Visclosky said. “It is my hope that their advancements in cutting-edge solar technologies will promote the use of American renewable energy for generations to come.”

“With this funding from the Department of Energy, Valpo faculty and students will push forward the energy science frontier by exploring new methods for using solar energy,” Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler said.

“The research conducted at the James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility will provide new, more efficient energy sources for creating commodities, positively impacting both the local and the national economies.”

“Visclosky has long advocated that in order to transition from a carbon-based economy, we must have a comprehensive approach to our energy policy that emphasizes conservation first and encourages the most efficient use of a broad range of fuels, including solar,” the statement said.


Posted 9/20/2013