Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) campus in Golden, Colorado where he toured the 327-acre campus' state-of-the-art facilities and met with scientists regarding ongoing research on the development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy.
"Across the Administration, we're looking at ways to create jobs and strengthen the economy -- and a big part of that is building a sustainable, clean energy future," Salazar said. "The innovative research that they're doing here at NREL is playing a critical role in developing new technologies that can compete in the marketplace. When we talk about President Obama's "all-of-the-above' energy strategy, it starts in places like these laboratories."
Joined by NREL Director Dr. Dan Arvizu, Salazar toured the campus and viewed construction underway for the new Energy Systems Integration Facility, a research & development center designed to help NREL work with industry partners to address challenges of incorporating renewable energy into the electrical grid.
Once completed, the 185,000-square-foot Energy Systems Integration Facility will be the nation's only facility that can conduct megawatt-scale testing of the components and strategies needed to safely move clean energy technologies onto the electrical grid "in-flight" at the speed and scale required to meet federal policy.
Salazar's visit comes on the heels of Interior's approval of the 31st utility-scale renewable energy project since 2009 as part of a Department-wide effort to advance smart development of renewable energy on our nation's public lands. The 17 solar projects, 6 wind farms and 8 geothermal facilities, when built by the companies, will provide approximately 7,200 megawatts of power to communities across the West, or enough to power nearly 2.5 million homes.
These achievements build on the historic expansion of renewable energy under President Obama, with energy from sources like wind and solar doubling since the President took office.