Friday, April 5, 2013

E: Engines and Energy Conversion Lab


This is a picture of the old Fort Collins power plant, built in 1936. The building is Art Deco style, and the grounds include an ornate terra cotta fountain that was originally to have been installed at City Park. Both the building and the fountain are designated as historic landmarks. The power plant was decommissioned in 1972.

Since 1992, the building has been home to Colorado State University's Engines and Energy Conversion Lab. Founded by Dr. Brian Willson, the mission of the EECL is "To create innovative energy solutions and entrepreneurial models that benefit the human condition and achieve global impact." This includes improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions; supporting biofuel research; bringing clean cooking technology to developing nations; and increasing the efficiency of our electric grid.

The EECL has received the Royal Award for Sustainable Technology Transfer, and Dr. Willson was named to the first "Scientific American 10" honor roll, alongside such notables as President Obama, Microsoft's Bill Gates, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  

After twenty years at this location, the EECL needs more space. Instead of building a brand new facility, the plant is being expanded and renovated into a LEED-certified green research complex. I'm glad the EECL decided to stay put. It seems only fitting that a power plant from the past is home to the energy technology of the future. 

11 comments:

edsa said...

Very interesting. I hope they come up with innovative solutions to the current environmental problems. Nice post!

Gwen Tolios said...

I want to say I think it's great your highlighting your town! There's so many cool places in the States that need to be explored.

Jen Forbes said...

I hate when they knock down perfectly wonderful construction and put up tasteless modern buildings. So glad they're keeping the old one and bringing it into the future.

myriteofpassage said...

I agree with Gwen about there being so many cool places to explore; we're going to Pittsburg in May and Colorado in June; also hoping to fit in Austin some time this year. And yes to find innovative solutions to our environmental problems.

Marcy said...

I've driven through Colorado only once, many years ago, so am finding your blog very interesting. I love the cool old buildings . . .

Mark Means said...

Interesting....we had a power plant in Northern Kentucky that resembled that.

I wonder if it's a staple design?

Elliot B said...

Very cool that they decided to stay put and work towards the future. If only more companies would consider that.
Elliot
We Are Adventure

Daniel B. said...

Fantastic. Just stopping by for A to Z, and I was pleased to see a place (or at least a city) I've actually been to. I once called Brighton home, and it's not too far away.

Banker Chick said...

We still have a lot of buildings that have a similar look. Our tornado took out a big part of the main suburban business way and homes. Many of the old brick buildings were downtown and not damaged as much.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Valerie said...

What a great story! I'm glad to see that they decided to work with what they have!

Hugs!

Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

Tronster said...

Great post. I have flown into the Denver international airport. The have a huge solar panel farm that powers the airport.