Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s environmental agenda for the coming legislative session includes allocation of $7.5 million to the University of Maryland to create a green energy research center. The goal of the Green Energy Institute — a collaboration between the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) at the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) — will be to develop and attract private investment and commercialize clean energy innovations and deployment solutions in Maryland.
UMERC was created by UMD to spearhead its energy research across the campus, bringing together nearly 100 faculty and their students to develop game changing energy innovations. The center is a multidisciplinary initiative dedicated to advancing the frontiers of energy science and technology, with a special focus on forward-looking approaches for alternative energy generation and storage. MCEC was created by the General Assembly of Maryland to support innovation and technology deployment to achieve renewable energy generation, energy conservation, and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. MCEC uses statute enabled financing authority to leverage private capital investments and provide financing to assist residential, commercial, municipal, and not-for-profit consumers.
“The Green Energy Institute will integrate these naturally synergistic activities and provide a tremendous opportunity for Maryland to transition its university research into high paying energy jobs,” said Eric Wachsman, professor and director of UMERC.
“We are excited about working more closely with the people and resources of UMERC,” said Kathy Magruder, executive director of MCEC. “This collaboration will undoubtedly improve our chances to grow the energy economy in Maryland.”
The announcement was made as part of Gov. Hogan’s proposed 2017 Environmental Package, which includes initiatives to grow jobs in green industries, promote the use of electric vehicles, invest in renewable energy innovations, and promote clean water commerce. In total, the proposals outlined by Gov. Hogan represent nearly $65 million in investment in Maryland’s environment. The proposal requires approval by the Democratic-majority General Assembly.
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