April 27, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Millions for Energy Research in New York

Five New York Institutions to Receive $10 to $50 Million Over Next Five Years

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced millions in investments for energy research at some of New York's leading research institutions, including Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University, General Electric Global Research and SUNY Stony Brook. Combined, the institutions will receive $10 to $50 million over the next five years to advance innovation and technology in renewable energy to combat global warming and fuel New York's economy for the long term. The investment from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Senator Gillibrand helped pass earlier this year.

"Providing funds to these world class research institutions will not only create jobs in New York in the short term, but will save consumers money by allowing them to buy less fuel, make us safer by fostering energy independence, and allow us to keep our resources here at home, instead of shipping them overseas," said Senator Schumer.

"By investing in research and innovation, we can relieve our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in New York," Senator Gillibrand said. "New York is home to the world's leading scientists and research institutions, which are working to develop the next generation of energy technology.  These institutions provide crucial economic engines in every corner of our state.  I will continue to work with Senator Schumer and the Obama Administration to direct federal dollars to develop the renewable energy industry in New York."

The five New York institutions are among 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) nationwide receiving $777 million over the next five years to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st century energy economy. The national effort will bring together groups of leading scientists to address fundamental issues in fields ranging from solar energy and electricity storage to materials sciences, biofuels, advanced nuclear systems and carbon capture and sequestration. Investments in New York's research institutions will go toward the following renewable energy advancements:

Brookhaven National Laboratory: Research the fundamental physics of superconductivity to discover new high-temperature superconductors and improve performance of known superconductors;

Columbia University: Develop the science to reach breakthroughs in efficient creation of solar power in nanometer-sized thin films;

Cornell University: Understand and control the nature, structure and dynamics of reactions at electrodes in fuel cells, batteries, solar photovoltaics and catalysts;

General Electric Global Research: Explore the fundamental chemistry for new approaches to store energy that combines the best properties of a fuel cell and a flow battery;

SUNY Stony Brook: Develop key knowledge of fundamental reactions at electrodes to tailor new electrodes to improve performance of existing batters and design entirely new ones.

Over 110 institutions from 36 states plus the District of Columbia will be participating in the EFRC research.  In all, the EFRCs will involve nearly 700 senior investigators and employ over 1,100 postdoctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduate students and technical staff.

Senator Gillibrand is a strong supporter of President Obama's economic recovery plan. It will help create or save more than 200,000 jobs in New York alone, while laying the foundation of future economic growth by making critical investments in renewable energy, infrastructure, health care technology and education.