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Alternative Energy

Advanced Energy Research Technology Center Being Built at Stony Brook University

Ground will be broken Tuesday for a $35 million energy center that will work to make alternative energy available to everyone and establish Long Island as a leader in the growing alternative energy sector. The Advanced Energy Research Technology Center being built on the campus of SUNY Stony Brook will research and promote every area of alternative energy, including solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells, geothermal, biomass and nano-technology.

"All these energy sources are being used on Long Island and other places on the planet in a small way and we are going to see how they can be brought to the masses," said Robert Catell, Vice President National Grid USA Energy Corp., and a co-chair of the tech center.

New York State is paying to build the state of the art building, which itself, will be the most energy efficient building in the state, and only one of 26 in the nation to get the top Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council in Washington, D.C.

The AERTC will establish Long Island as an area for alternative energy research and create exciting career opportunities, said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Rockville Centre, before the 11 a.m. groundbreaking and ceremony at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook.

Long Island and the entire state are in dire need of new energy sources, said Dr. Yacov Shamash, AERTC Vice Chairman. "We are scratching the surface with a few solar panels here and a few windmills there, and a smattering of buildings using hydrogen fuel cells or geo-thermal technology," said Shamash.

"We have the technology to produce enough alternative energy to power a nation, but we need the will and industrial structure to develop it," he said.

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico that threaten oil fineries and natural gas producers, show how vulnerable our energy supply is, said Catell.

"This instability has a disastrous effect on the economy, as well as national security," he said.

"Our country has gone through oil shortages in the 1970s, when foreign countries embargoed oil shipments and yet we still import a majority of our energy needs from these same countries," he said.

"The argument for a secure, efficient energy supply we control within our borders is obvious," Catell said.

"It is my hope that the center's research will unlock the mystery to alternative sources of energy and help reduce our dependence on foreign fuels, create new jobs and enhance our economic growth," said Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle of R-Selden.

The Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center building is preparing to conform to the highest level of energy sustainability administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders. The building will have a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) platinum rating, which means it has achieved maximum energy efficiency in five distinct categories: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, material & resources and indoor environmental quality.
  • Sustainable Site -- Parking for low emission vehicles and use of vegetation that eliminates storm water runoff, while providing shade to keep blacktop from generating heat will be used.
  • Water Efficiency -- Landscaping that requires no irrigation will be used, as will a system for collecting ground water on the roof, which will be used for flushing toilets.
  • Energy and Atmosphere -- Photovoltaic cells will be built into the roof to create energy and block sunlight. Windows will be used as a source of light. Energy efficient desk lamps will be used in favor of overhead light.
  • Materials and Resources -- use of recycled building materials will exceed 20%. 75% of construction waste will also be diverted to recycling sites.
  • Indoor & Environmental Quality -- Extensive venting will prevent pollution during construction. An efficient air pumping system will provide fresh air, which will be carefully monitored.
The energy center will also seek to improve the efficiencies of existing fuels and improve the conservation of fuels-including oil and natural gas-that are in decreasing supply.

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