Energy Sciences Research

Nebraska Public Power District and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln formed a partnership to create the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research on April 15, 2006.

NPPD’s Board of Directors initially approved funding for the Center in the amount of $5 million for a period of five years to support various research initiatives. Due to the success of this partnership in research, NPPD’s Board of Directors extended the term of the agreement in December 2009 for a period of 10 years with a total funding commitment of $10 million dollars.

On May 20, 2011, Chancellor Harvey Perlman recognized NPPD’s efforts for fostering research in Nebraska by presenting a commemorative plaque to NPPD President & CEO Pat Pope in appreciation for NPPD’s investment in education, research and economic development through the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research.

The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research has funded research projects aimed at developing domestic energy resources and improving energy efficiency. Collaborative projects among UNL researchers and other public and private organizations working in energy areas have also been supported.

“We realize that energy sources are finite, and this strategic partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will help address the diversity needed to produce power for future generations of Nebraskans,” said Pat Pope NPPD president and CEO.

“As the state’s largest supplier of electricity, NPPD is committed to using resources that will best serve our customers, the environment, and the state, both now and in the future,” Pope said. “We owe it to our customers to develop technologies that enhance our economy, are respectful of the environment, and are efficient and effective in meeting Nebraska’s energy needs.”

The mission of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research is to conduct research that results in new technologies and processes that will develop domestic energy sources, increase energy efficiency, and improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for Nebraskans. A UNL faculty member serves as the Center director. An advisory board of NPPD and UNL administrators set strategic directions for the Center, establish research priorities and advise on selection of research projects.

“We are excited about partnering with NPPD to advance Nebraska’s development of domestic energy sources and energy efficient technologies,” said UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman. “As the state’s major research institution, our faculty has innovative energy projects underway and NPPD’s foresight in providing support for this work will position us to participate in national initiatives and to build economic growth in Nebraska.”

The Center will fund existing research projects with the potential to rapidly produce novel technologies, new projects in promising research areas, and infrastructure to support research. Initial areas of research could include advanced technologies for generation efficiency improvements, water and energy use, energy efficiency and conservation, carbon and nitrogen sequestration, biofuels and bio-products, wind energy, fuel cells, solar photovoltaics and components for highly efficient batteries for electric vehicles. UNL researchers currently are working in these and other energy-related areas.

“NPPD’s vision is to enhance the quality of life for Nebraskans through our people and other public power assets”, said Ron Larsen, chairman of the NPPD Board of Directors. “By partnering with our state’s university system to develop new and innovative ways of supplying energy, we strengthen our service to customers and increase the value of public power’s low-cost, local control and reliability benefits for all Nebraskans.”

The goal of the Center is to become self-sustaining by attracting additional funding from state and federal agencies, other companies and foundations.

“The Center aligns perfectly with our efforts over the past years to build collaborations among our energy-related researchers and to produce technologies and inventions that will benefit Nebraska,” said Prem Paul, UNL Vice Chancellor for research and economic development. “The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research has enabled us to efficiently draw on our expertise that ranges from engineering to agronomy to chemistry, and produce new solutions to energy challenges.”