The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has been awarded an $11.8 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand laboratory facilities and intensify energy research efforts, including research into advanced battery technology for plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Kentucky-Argonne National Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center.
The grant provides funding to significantly expand the center’s research capabilities with a new 36,000-s.f. building dedicated to research in the biomass and biofuels industries, advanced distributed power generation and storage and technologies for electric vehicles. The facility will be constructed at the Spindletop research site in Lexington.
The project cost totals $15.8 million, including a $3 million investment from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The new facility will include labs for process development, prototype manufacturing and testing to support applied research on batteries, capacitors, solar energy materials and biofuels. A portion of the new facility will be equipped specifically for capacitor and battery manufacturing research. The Kentucky Biofuels Laboratory, an analytical laboratory managed as an open access user facility, will also be located within the new expansion.
The project is expected to be completed by fall 2011.