Since 2005, Denmark – the world’s most advanced wind-powered nation – Colorado State University and a startup company in Fort Collins have collaborated to address challenges of taking intermittent wind power and turning it into a stable and reliable renewable resource.
Colorado State University and Fort Collins’ Spirae Inc. jointly developed the InteGrid Laboratory, one of the largest facilities of its type in the world, to provide innovative solutions of renewable and distributed power integration. These "smart grid" systems are critical for consistent grid management with the ever increasing use of renewable energy in world.
CSU and Spirae’s pilot implementation of the smart grid technology in Denmark is currently underway. Denmark’s power system operator, EnergyNet.dk, was one of the earliest users of the InteGrid Laboratory for testing and improving renewable energy sources and optimal connectivity into the power grid.
CSU officials have been invited to participate in a series of conferences in Denmark this summer including the "Citris-Copenhagen Research Conference on Climate and Energy" June 18-19, which will feature only one other American university.
Wade Troxell, associate dean in the College of Engineering at Colorado State, will also speak at the University of Copenhagen’s Climate Lecture about CSU’s plans for a 65-megawatt wind farm.
"The Climate Lectures at the University of Copenhagen put focus on important aspects in the debate about climate change," said Lykke Friis, Prorector at the University of Copenhagen. "Colorado State University serves as an important example for universities with their ambitious green strategy of going 100 percent green. Universities as centres for research and education also have a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints."
Together with nine universities, the University of Copenhagen is organizing an International Scientific Congress on Climate Change on March 10-12, 2009, which will provide a picture of the "big issues" in the newest climate change research.
At Colorado State University, more than 100 faculty members are engaged in research about market-driven clean and renewable energy solutions – from studying the socioeconomic impacts of changing technology to developing highly efficient solar panels or biodiesel from algae.
"The InteGrid Laboratory is a prime example of how Colorado State University is developing solutions for some of the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges," said Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley. "As part of its strategic plan, Colorado State is committed to growing areas of study that address global concerns, creating international partnerships to face those challenges, and moving innovations from our laboratories to the market so people around the world may live better, healthier lives. The university has sought like-minded institutions that share its vision and values for higher education in areas such as Denmark, China, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico."
In addition to its research efforts, Colorado State University is committed to eliminating its own carbon footprint and is one of the few U.S. universities developing a wind farm. Known as the CSU Green Power Project, the farm is expected to provide more than four times the power than CSU currently consumes as part of the university’s goals to be 100 percent carbon neutral.
"The CSU initiative is a model for other leading universities in the world," said Hans Christian Ugilt Hansen of Zurich, Switzerland, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for Copenhagen and was responsible for the structuring and financing of the first 11 major Danish wind projects in California. "We can use this model to establish a world-wide network between universities with the aim of motivating students and university management to go renewable in their energy consumption."
"The urgency of global warming is calling for a new industrial revolution," said Erik Rasmussen, CEO of Scandinavian think-tank Monday Morning and founder of the Copenhagen Climate Council, which is a sponsor of the June 18 research conference that CSU officials will attend. "Wade Troxell’s work with the concept of Smart Grids and their ability make the production and consumption of wind and solar energy more efficient is an outstanding example of what it takes to create a sustainable revolution and how the risk of climate change can be turned into opportunity – for the benefit of nature and society."
The state of Colorado is a national leader in the development of clean and renewable energy solutions. Colorado State University is part of a unique economic development partnership known as the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory that formed in February 2007 to research new energy technologies and transfer these discoveries as rapidly as possible to the marketplace. Making up the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory are Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is based in Golden, Colo.
"CSU’s wind project testifies to its leadership in a consortium of Colorado’s most prominent colleges and universities that require 100 percent carbon-free electric power to meet their carbon-reduction commitments," said Ron Lehr, former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and current Western representative to the American Wind Energy Association. "The project also offers new opportunities for cooperation among Colorado’s major electric utilities to work together across their service area boundaries to bring university-owned wind to campuses and communities."
About the Copenhagen Climate Council
The Copenhagen Climate Council is a global alliance of business leaders, policy makers and scientists looking to provide concrete proposals to a new climate treaty supported by international business. On May 24-26, 2009, the Council will host the World Business Summit on Climate Change to discuss and put forward recommendations from business on how to address climate change in a post-Kyoto protocol. Recommendations from the Summit will be delivered directly to decision-makers negotiating the treaty, thus giving business a voice at the negotiating table. The Copenhagen Climate Council will send a powerful message that tackling climate change while allowing for continued growth and prosperity is possible, and that given the right political framework and incentives, business can play a critical role.
About Colorado State University
Colorado State University, located about 60 miles north of Denver in Fort Collins, is one of only three major research universities and the only land-grant institution in Colorado with about 25,000 students. The university’s land-grant mission emphasizes a commitment to the community, the state, the nation and the world through service and outreach, research and discovery and teaching and learning. CSU is one of the top research universities in the United States with nearly $300 million in annual research expenditures, two National Science Foundation research centers in cloud-modeling and nanotechnology and one of the top veterinary schools in the country.