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Nancy Pelosi visits campus to learn about Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation

Bryan Bourgeois

Issue date: 10/17/08 Section: News
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Media Credit: Shane Lu

This past Wednesday, Case president Barbara Snyder and others involved in Case's Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation held a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, and Betty Sutton, who represents Ohio's 13th District in the House of Representatives, in order to discuss Northeast Ohio's role in developing alternative energy sources.

The institute was created in 2007, gaining validity after receiving a $3.6 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation in December and a $2 million grant for a professorship from the Maltz Family Foundation last March. What was previously the Wright Fuel Cell Center became part of the institute, and fuel cells, as well as sensor technology research, are considered to be Case's particular strengths.

In addition, Case has put up $200,000 out of the total $1 million required for a feasibility study, conducted by a Cuyahoga County task force, investigating the possibility of placing wind turbines on Lake Erie and building an associated research location, which Case would manage, to evaluate newly developed industrial wind energy technology. Between two and 10 wind turbines would be built several miles off the shore of Lake Erie, and they would be the first ever wind turbines erected at a freshwater location.

Of course, for efforts at Case and Ohio in general to increase in intensity, both state and federal dollars will be sought. To this end, Sutton, a Democrat whose district includes areas south and west of Cleveland, invited Pelosi, a Democrat who represents California's 8th District, to visit Case to learn more about the institute's efforts.

Snyder welcomed Sutton, Pelosi, and Fisher to campus, remarking that she was pleased for them to see more of Case's plans to make Ohio an energy leader. She was pleased to introduce them to Dianne Anderson, a former BP executive who was recently appointed as the executive director of the institute.

Fisher said he was glad to have the opportunity to showcase Ohio's efforts in bringing alternative energy development to the forefront, and mentioned that he and Governor Ted Strickland believe "there is no issue more important than advanced and renewable energy."

He admitted that every state has a legitimate interest in renewable energy, but joked that Ohio "would like a disproportionate share of [federal] money" with which to invest. He cited Lake Erie's particular strengths for providing wind energy, the fact that Ohio is the third leading state in manufacturing, and the state's "Third Frontier Project" as several strengths in addition to Case's institute. Fisher also pointed out that a Strickland stimulus package provides incentives for businesses to work toward developing alternative energy sources.
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