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Nevada universities get clean-energy research grants

WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Tuesday awards of $40 million for 40 projects —including two at Nevada universities — to develop technologies to reach the Biden administration’s goal of producing 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.

A University of Nevada-Las Vegas project to develop gas bearings to improve efficiency of turbo-machinery will receive $200,000 in funding from the Department of Energy.

The Energy Department allotted $400,000 to the University of Nevada-Reno for a research project to develop technology to prevent catastrophic failure at solar thermal plants.

Nevada projects at the universities were just two of 40 research programs nationwide to receive federal aid.

“We are laser focused on deploying more solar power and developing more cost-effective technologies to decarbonize our electricity system,” Granholm said in a statement announcing the funding.

And, Granholm said, “research to develop stronger and longer-lasting solar panels is critical to addressing the climate crisis.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., said the federal funds are “critical resources that will help the Nevada System of Higher Education continue to lead with its cutting-edge research programs.”

“Nevada’s innovation economy benefits everyone in our state and across our nation,” she added.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., congratulated UNLV for receiving the funds.

“Representing the fastest warming city and sunniest state in the nation, Nevada has much to gain in our transition to a clean energy economy,” Titus said.

In 2019, Nevada ranked second in the nation in electricity generated from geothermal energy and fourth in utility-scale solar energy, according to analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Renewable energy from all sources supplied about 28 percent of Nevada’s utility-scale electricity, according to the analysis.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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