The Idaho National Laboratory will partner with three other national labs in the search for rare earth and other metals.
The Ames Laboratory in Iowa was selected for an award of up to $120 Million over a 5-year period to establish an energy innovation Hub that will develop solutions to rare earth metal shortages.
The new research center will be named the Critical Materials Institute.
The critical materials the new Hub will focus on are essential for America’s competitiveness in the clean energy industry.
Other national labs partnering with Ames include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
U.S. Senator James Risch issued a statement about the Department of Energy's announcement. He said:
"I am very pleased with the Department of Energy's announcement of a new energy innovation Hub that will focus on rare earth metals and other materials necessary for our energy and national security. Last year, the Idaho Congressional Delegation asked DOE to support the Hub, which has the Idaho National Laboratory as a partner. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I clearly understand the importance that rare earth metals play in our technology and security sectors. The INL will have an important role with their ability to perform critical material research. The work to be performed through this research center is good news for Idaho and the nation."
On Tuesday, January 15th the Department of Energy will hold a Google-+-hangout with the leaders of the Critical Materials Institute to discuss this important research effort. That can be viewed at energy.gov/live.