February 25, 2009
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
I am an optimist, and nothing recently has fueled my optimism more than the dedication ceremony for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls on Friday, Feb. 20.
When I arrived at Idaho State University less than two years ago – my first official day of work was July 1, 2006 – I stated that Idaho would be an energy corridor for this country. Some people were skeptical; after all, Idaho has no known oil and little natural gas.
However, as the creation of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies — a 55,000-square-foot, $17 million energy research laboratory on the banks of the Snake River — attests, Idaho offers the opportunity and ability to study and create energy sources with low-carbon output such as solar, wind, geothermal, biofuel, hydro and nuclear power. As you read this, Idaho is becoming an energy corridor for our nation.
CAES is a collaborative venture between the Idaho National Laboratory and the state of Idaho through its three public universities, Boise State University, University of Idaho and Idaho State University. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the entire Idaho congressional delegation joined INL, U.S. Department of Energy, and Battelle Energy Alliance officials, along with representatives from all three universities, to acknowledge the importance of this event. This project epitomizes the concept of collaboration. With its participation in CAES, ISU has taken bold steps in creating many partnerships that will improve our capability to deliver clean energy strategy for our country.
The Center for Advanced Energy Studies is delivering now. It has already attracted $8 million in competitive grants, created 200 new jobs and generated $600,000 in state and local taxes. This is just the beginning of what will come.
At the dedication Gov. Otter—referring to INL—said, "This is a great day in the history of this great institution and the state of Idaho."
I could not agree more with the Governor, and note that it was a great day for Idaho State University as well.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University