Tuesday the Idaho National Laboratory dedicated its new Energy Systems Laboratory located in Idaho Falls on the research and education campus, near the CAES building. The Energy System Laboratory is a state of the art research facility designed to house and advance INL's bioenergy, hybrid energy systems, and advanced vehicle and battery testing programs. Summer Joy was there earlier and has more on the goal of this facility.
Its goal is to enhance the nation's global competitiveness in three different areas: clean energy, storage technology, and biomass design and analysis.
Tuesday afternoon a group of elected officials and US department of Energy representatives along with the public gathered to dedicate a new INL laboratory.
"Several years ago this was just an open field and we decided to consolidate and build a new capacity at the INL so that researchers here have the top research facility in the world. That's how you're going to attract them here and do the best research," said Mike Simpson, U.S. Congressman.
The 91 thousand square foot building contains biomass characterization laboratory, several offices, space for a computer assisted virtual environment, and three high bays that can be reconfigured to accommodate specific research needs.
"It will bring more jobs and also a bigger impact on business here in Idaho; the way we are developing our facilities and our approach going forward is to look into doing partnerships with our state universities. It allows more opportunities for students and researchers coming in from the state. We are also going to offer an operating national user facility here, so that will bring in companies from all over the country and the world to come here and partner with the laboratory. That will help grow our economic base," said Steve Aumeier, an INL Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environment and the Director for Center for Advanced Energy Studies.
ESL has efforts to integrate low carbon energy onto America's electrical grid, reducing the nation's dependence on foreign sourced fossil fuels by researching bioenergy and electrical vehicle performances, and increasing energy efficiency in manufacturing, critical materials supplies and used nuclear fuel systems engineering.
"When President Bush first proposed a budget to Congress involving the INL, the budget was to clean it up and close it down and we have changed that. We are actually growing the INL through nuclear energy, renewable energy and homeland security, among other things; so growing this lab is important for our country," added Simpson.
One common aspect from all of the speakers was that it was a team effort to get this facility started and that will continue to be the case, because together they can move into the future of science diligently and efficiently.
INL representatives hope this expansion will bring more job opportunities to the community while also making advances in science and technology.