June 18, 2008
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
The new home for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, a research consortium directed at helping secure America's energy future, passed an important milestone last week.
On June 9, Idaho Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter announced that the state will contribute an additional $2 million toward finishing the CAES building, which is nearing completion at University Place in Idaho Falls.
This follows a previous state appropriation of $1.6 million for new research faculty.
CAES is a partnership. Idaho State University is a member of that partnership, joined by Boise State, the University of Idaho, the U.S. Department of Energy and Battelle Energy Alliance, manager of Idaho National Laboratory.
The CAES partnership gives INL—the lead national laboratory for nuclear-energy development—a new local source of trained scientists. It gives Idaho's three universities proximity to INL's important research activities and resources. The center's multidisciplinary research gives Idaho a key economic driver, and a key role in the nation's energy future.
After it opens this fall, the CAES building, which Idaho State University will manage, will house research laboratories, educational programs and policy forums.
And one won't have to look far to see the sort of opportunities CAES was established to develop.
- Nuclear power was born in the desert west of Idaho Falls. Its future will be shaped there as well.
- Hydroelectric power generated along the Snake River, including at plants operated by the city of Idaho Falls, help power the West.
- Geothermal energy heats homes and state government buildings in Boise, and Hoku Materials will manufacture polysilicon in Pocatello for the solar-energy market.
- Dozens of wind turbines generate electricity in the hills east of Idaho Falls.
- Idaho agriculture holds promise for development of bio-fuels and bio-gases.
- Montana and Wyoming hold vast reserves of low-sulphur coal.
- Wyoming is resurgent as a source of oil, natural gas and uranium.
No single energy source will meet all of our needs. No single research institution can find the solutions America needs.
Instead, the kind of partnership we have in the Center for Advanced Energy Studies is what will work for Idaho, the nation and the world.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University