U.S. Department of Energy Awards Florida Solar Energy Center at UCF $2 Million for ‘Green’ Regional Project

The U.S. Department of Energy recently named the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida as one of only two sites nationwide that will share a multi-million dollar grant to accelerate the adoption of new and developing energy-efficient technologies.

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) received $2 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) grant to be home to a regional building technology application center. The center, to be located at FSEC’s facility in Cocoa, will serve 12 states and produce projects that will substantially increase the deployment of high-performance “beyond-code” buildings across the Southeast.

Washington State University is the site of the other center.

“Rising energy costs and climate change initiatives have led to increasing concern on the appropriate steps to take to reduce energy use,” said Rob Vieira, director of Buildings Research at the Florida Solar Energy Center. “Through this exciting project we hope to provide information to help those seeking to lower their energy bills and protect our environment and natural resources.”

The project will work to build upon the goals and policies in place with other states, utilities and energy-efficiency partnership-based programs to promote DOE Building Technology Program goals for advanced energy-efficient building codes, standards and zero-energy buildings.

“Promoting the early commercialization of solar and other energy efficient technologies will help secure America’s clean energy future,” said Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman.

Regional partnerships will be key to the success of the project. The Southern Energy Efficiency Center, the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs, Texas A&M University and the Southface Institute in Atlanta will work in partnership with the Florida Solar Energy Center to ensure project goals and deadlines are met.

The project kickoff meeting was held Nov. 14 in Morgantown, W. Va. At the meeting, project managers and partners presented overall objectives, implementation schedules and the general approach to project initiatives.

The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida. It is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the country. Center divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating and solar electric (photovoltaics) and distributed generation systems. For more information, visit www.floridaenergycenter.org or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.

UCF Stands for Opportunity: Established in 1963, the University of Central Florida is a diverse metropolitan research university that ranks as the 6th-largest in the country with more than 48,000 students. Located in Orlando, Fla., UCF offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, student development and continuing education, while conducting cutting-edge research that powers the region’s economic development. For more UCF news, visit news.ucf.edu.

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