NREL forms new energy research center

Happy Tuesday! Today’s tech coverage begins just outside the Midwest, in Colorado, where the National Renewable Energy Laboratory formed a new research center: the Energy Conversion and Storage Systems CenterJennifer Kurtz is the center’s director. She has hydrogen and fuel cell expertise and has been with NREL for 13 years.

  • The center is dedicated to systems engineering for energy conversion and storage technologies. This includes batteries, hydrogen, geothermal, thermal, and water power technologies.
  • Some existing research departments and capabilities will be combined and/or realigned. Approximately 100 researchers will work at the center.
  • “We have an opportunity to research individual energy conversion and storage technologies and how those technologies integrate with the larger energy system of generation, storage, and demand,” Kurtz said in a news release. “The traditional boundaries of generation and demand are changing, and our research will investigate a diverse set of technologies and system configurations for flexible and sustainable integrated energy systems.”

Today’s headlines:


  • The Red Lake Solar Project in northern Minnesota is being called a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind undertaking that will help the Red Lake Nation achieve energy sovereignty while creating jobs and boosting energy sustainability for generations, reports The Bemidji Pioneer.
  • Renewable energy development company White Pine Renewables launched with offices in California and Michigan. The business develops, finances, and operates renewable energy projects across the country, but its key focal areas will be the Midwest and California.


  • Minnesota elected leaders were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Granite Falls’ hydroelectric plant, which will receive technological upgrades thanks to $2.75 million in funding, reports the Redwood Falls Gazette.
  • Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble and Kohler, Wisconsin-based plumbing product manufacturer Kohler are two of the founding members of 50L Home coalition, a newly formed platform addressing water security and climate change. The global public-private coalition will promote technologies and policies that advance responsible, efficient water consumption.


  • Roush CleanTech in Livonia, Michigan, released its Class 6 battery-electric vehicles, and Penske Truck Leasing will be the first truck rental company to adopt the vehicles. Production starts next summer.
  • Ohio-based electric truck developer Lordstown Motors received $675 million from a merger with DiamondPeak Holdings, which allowed it to enter the NASDAQ yesterday with its initial public offering.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed 10 people to the newly formed Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. A key goal is to ensure Michigan is a leader in electric vehicle technology.


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