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.