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San Diego State Gets Federal Boost For Renewable Energy In Imperial Valley

By Kyla Calvert

Audio

Aired 9/23/11

A $1.6-million federal grant will help San Diego State University build a green energy research and training center in Imperial Valley. One goal is to spur job creation in the region, where unemployment hovers around 30 percent.

A $1.6-million federal grant will help San Diego State University build a green energy research and training center in Imperial Valley. One goal is to spur job creation in the region, where unemployment hovers around 30 percent.

SDSU’s Imperial Valley campus is one of 20 grantees under the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Imperial Valley Dean David Pearson hopes the money will help transform the region from a poster child for the worst impact of the recession into a hub of the renewable energy revolution.

The project will be housed on 200 acres the school currently leases to the type of business that used to anchor the area’s economy.

“The master plan ultimately suggests we’ll have solar fields – photovoltaic fields, research areas,” said Pearson. “But what we have now is a farm.”

The initial grant will bring in one proof-of-concept project for a private company and support outreach to more potential private partners. It will also fund the construction of a geothermal energy plant simulator for training purposes.

“It has not been done before,” Pearson said of the simulator. “So we think this will be tremendous in terms of bringing people who need that kind of training, bringing dollars to the campus and the community and providing a service – an international service – which doesn’t exist at this point.”

Under the university’s master plan for the site, it will eventually host renewable energy certificate and degree programs.

Pearson said the region already hosts several geothermal plants, averages 345 sunny days a year that can fuel solar panels and is close to wind turbine fields in the mountains. Once SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line is complete, much of that renewable energy could be harnessed and sold to San Diego consumers.

Comments

Avatar for user 'averymaes'

averymaes | September 23, 2011 at 11:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago


Unemployment numbers are comprised of those that are in the job market for the past 30 days. It does not include those that have not been in the job market in the last 30 days: people who have given up looking; those that have gone off unemployment because it has run out. One solution to unemployment is "High Speed University" check it out

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