products by: Mike Chagala

UC Riverside Continues its Solar Power Leadership

January 21, 2013

The University of California, Riverside, has invested many of its resources in solar power, with important work being done at the Bourns College of Engineering, its Winston Chung Global Energy Center, and the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy. Now add to the list a new center that would help renewable energy entrepreneurs develop new products and create a network of businesses, agencies, and sustainable energy resources.

The Winston Chung center and the research initiative have recently received a grant to create the new center, with the help of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency. The county of Riverside has a plan, the Riverside County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, in which the university works with renewable energy businesses to develop new technology for the field.

University researchers believed there was a need for a new center based on requests from companies looking for assistance with product testing and development. A year-long study will determine how to structure the new center. During that time period, a board of consultants will be created and the university will work with businesses to find out how the center could meet their needs; several analytical studies will also be completed. In addition to working with Inland Empire businesses, the new center will also team up with regional schools to develop work training programs.

The Winston Chung Global Energy Center focuses on energy use and storage, with research and education efforts aimed at issues such as technology, economic development, and ecology. Its vision emphasizes global, forward-looking efforts that encompass top-level academic research, energy-efficiency training to help the public and private sectors create community projects featuring sustainable energy, and establishing partnerships on energy storage. The goal of the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy is to serve as a clearinghouse for information on solar power. It serves as a resource for governments, businesses, consumers, and other groups and individuals on the proper use and applications of solar power systems and technology.

The UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering has done a lot of work in the field of renewable energy. Among its recent solar projects is a two-year initiative in which the college's Center for Environmental Research and Technology is developing solar power systems to help charge electric vehicles and a mobile charging station that recently debuted at the opening of the university's new community garden.

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