August 30, 2012

Rockefeller & Manchin Announce Significant Grants to Advance Energy Research at WVU

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Joe Manchin today announced $831,086 in federal funding for energy research at West Virginia University, which will allow students to explore ways to improve the energy grid and make it more efficient.

“Studying our energy infrastructure is vital for not only the present, but for future generations,” Rockefeller said.  “These grants will support energy research at West Virginia University, making the school among the leaders in the nation for this type of research.  The proposed research is impressive and I am proud that this world-class work is happening right here in West Virginia.  It is great to see the National Science Foundation continue to invest in West Virginia schools.”

“Promoting research initiatives that help us move toward energy independence should be a top priority for this country,” Senator Manchin said. “West Virginia University is a world-class research school, and It is encouraging that the school has the opportunity to help lead us in improving and developing better ways to use energy right here in the United States. Investing in this research now will only help our future generations thrive and succeed.”

West Virginia University is receiving three different grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research proposals, including the following:

  • NSF’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) awarded WVU $335,930 for the project “The Technology, Energy, Economy, and Environment (TEEE) Chain: Integrated Modeling for Technology Transition in Energy Rich Regions” under the direction of Dr. Hodjat Ghadimi.  This project will study West Virginia and Shanxi Province, China, two energy rich regions, to develop an engineering-based economic framework for an integrated analysis of the TEEE system by a multidisciplinary research team for a comprehensive understanding of the national and global consequences of interactions in these regions.

  • NSF’s Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) awarded WVU $322,501 for the project “Grid Challenges for a Smart Transit System” under the direction of Dr. Sarika Khushalani-Solanki.  This project aims to develop technologies for a sustainable, fully-automated Smart Transit System (STS) and develop tools needed to upgrade electric power distribution systems.

  • NSF’s Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) awarded WVU $172,655 for the project “Collaborative Research: The Next-Generation Electricity Capacity and Transmission Expansion Model with Large-Scale Energy Storage and Renewable Resources” under the direction of Dr. Qipeng Zheng.  This project’s objective is to provide optimal solutions for long-term electricity infrastructure expansion in the future and will provide planning authorities with the most advanced electricity system modeling tools.

Senator Rockefeller has a strong record of securing funding for NSF and advocating for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program which is designed to make sure all states, including small and rural ones, have an opportunity to compete for NSF grants.