News Releases

(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she included over $5 million for development of renewable energy technologies in the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill that was approved today by the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. The funds will be used to research and develop wind, solar, wave and biofuel technologies in Washington state.

“Investing in renewable energy technology will create jobs and economic growth, foster energy independence, and promote environmental sustainability,” said Senator Murray. “Additionally, these investments will help ensure that Washington state remains a national leader in renewable energy research and development.”

Having passed the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee today, the bill will now go to the full Appropriations Subcommittee before going to the full Senate for consideration.

The Washington State University Algae Biofuels Project – $2,000,000
The WSU Algae Biofuels project is a partnership between WSU and the Seattle-based Targeted Growth Inc to conduct clean energy alga biofuel research. It will create high-skill jobs in both Pullman and the Puget Sound area and provide researchers with the resources they need to develop new, energy-efficient fuel sources. 

Advanced Close-Cycle Turbine Generator – $1,000,000
The funds will be used to support Redmond-based Stellar Photonics efforts to develop an advanced close-cycle turbine generator, which would help electric turbines run more efficiently. Renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar, often have trouble meeting energy demands during peak hours. Using this advanced turbine generator will help provide more robust, reliable and stable forms of renewable energy.

Wind Energy Technology Training Program – $500,000
This program will establish a certificate/degree training program at Walla Walla Community College designed to meet critical workforce training demands of the wind energy industry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by year 2030, twenty percent of all energy in the United States will be wind energy. Moreover, it is anticipated that Washington state will maintain a leading role in this nationwide imitative.  This program provides trained technicians required by industry to meet expanding workforce needs and positively impacts the economy. Specifically, the program addresses the need for more than 250 trained-technician openings projected in the next five to seven years.

Ocean-Based Energy Generation – $600,000
The funds will be used to support the efforts of Seattle-based Oscilla Power to develop wave energy generation that would use the power of the ocean as a renewable energy source. The development of this clean energy technology would increase our region’s energy independence and boost the economies of our coastal communities.

Farm-Based Renewable Energy – $400,000
The funds will be used by the Foster Creek Conservation District in Douglas County to procure a mobile unit that will allow farmers to process biofuels on their own farm. This program will act as a national model for farms around the country to generate rural economic development, energy independence and environmental sustainability.

Southwest Washington Tidal Energy Project – $1,000,000
Grays Harbor Public Utility and Pacific County Public Utility District will use this funding to study the feasibility of a tidal power demonstration project. Tidal power has the potential to create jobs in the renewable energy field, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.