EPRI Joins SolarTAC - One of the World's Largest Solar Test and Demonstration Centers

May 26, 2010, 12:26 ET from Midwest Research Institute

The Electric Power Research Institute members represent more than 90 percent of US electricity  

AURORA, Colo., May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) announces the addition of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) as a sponsoring member. EPRI conducts research and development for the electric power industry and its membership represents more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, along with an international participation extending to 40 countries.    

Located in Aurora, Colorado, SolarTAC is a private, member-based, outdoor facility where the solar industry tests, validates, and demonstrates advanced solar technologies. As a member of SolarTAC, EPRI will have access to the 74-acre SolarTAC site, allowing EPRI's membership to participate in solar research and development, utilizing SolarTAC's available infrastructure. SolarTAC members can work alone or in collaboration with other members on research and demonstration activities that support their business and membership needs.

"We are very excited to become a member of SolarTAC," said Stan Rosinski, Program Manager for EPRI's Renewable Generation R&D. "Our sponsorship affords EPRI the ability to conduct solar thermal research as well as test the performance of a variety of solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies, and through collaboration with our members, validate these technologies. SolarTAC provides a unique opportunity to transition technologies from the lab to the field through testing in a real-world environment."

According to SolarTAC's Executive Director, Dustin Smith, "Having EPRI's utility industry involved in SolarTAC is a significant step towards our memberships' goal of accelerating utility-scale solar technologies into the marketplace." Since announcing the initial launch of SolarTAC in late 2008, the site infrastructure development has progressed to the point where members can now deploy solar technology.

SolarTAC originated when six public and private sector entities  --  Abengoa Solar, the City of Aurora, the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, Midwest Research Institute (MRI), SunEdison, and Xcel Energy --  joined forces to establish a site where member companies can bring their early commercial or near-commercial stage solar technologies for testing and demonstration under actual field conditions.  

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About EPRI

EPRI (The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity for the benefit of the public.  An independent non-profit organization, EPRI brings together scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry together to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety, and the environment. EPRI also provides technology, policy, and economic analysis to drive long-range research and development planning, and supports research in emerging technologies.  For more information, please visit www.epri.com

About Abengoa Solar

Abengoa Solar (www.abengoasolar.com) develops and deploys technologies to generate clean energy from the sun.  Abengoa Solar develops, designs, builds and operates in the U.S. Concentrating Solar Power (C.S.P.) and photovoltaic power plants and installations. Abengoa Solar also develops its own technology through R&D projects in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL, among others.

About SunEdison

SunEdison is North America's largest solar energy services provider. The company finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using proven photovoltaic technologies, delivering fully managed, predictably priced solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR). For more information about SunEdison, please visit www.sunedison.com.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.

About Midwest Research Institute

MRI, a not-for-profit scientific research organization with 1,800 employees nationwide, performs contract research and laboratory consulting services for clients in government, industry, and academia. Established in 1944, MRI is one of the nation's leading independent research institutes conducting research in the areas of national security and defense, energy and environment, life sciences, food and agriculture, and transportation safety.   With headquarters in Kansas City, MRI also has facilities in Palm Bay, Fla., Frederick, Md., and Rockville, Md. MRI is one of the two entities in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC,  that  manages the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., for the U.S. Department of Energy.  For more information, visit www.mriresearch.org

About Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory

The Collaboratory is a renewable energy research partnership among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Colorado's premier research universities -- Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado - Boulder. The Collaboratory seeks to develop and commercialize renewable energy technologies, promote economic growth in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Region and the nation with renewable energy industries, and educate our nations' finest energy researchers, technicians and work force. The Collaboratory's research centers provide access to four world class institutions through a single point of contact.  Nearly 50 companies, from Fortune 500 companies to clean energy startups, have already joined Collaboratory centers.  More information is available at www.coloradocollaboratory.org.

About the City of Aurora

More than 309,000 people and 10,000 businesses choose to call Aurora home, making it the third most populous city in Colorado and the 58th largest in the country. The City of Aurora, ranks the sixth safest among cities of its size, offers an extensive range of services to create a livable, enjoyable community.  Just minutes away from Denver International Airport, the strategically located city serves as the gateway to the Rockies.

City leaders' vision for growth focuses the principles of sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy. SolarTAC is located on City of Aurora land master planned for furthering renewable energy projects.  For more information on the City of Aurora visit www.auroragov.org.

SOURCE Midwest Research Institute