|Major building expansion projects under way at the EERC|
The EERC at UND is planning several building expansion projects on its 15-acre property in Grand Forks, North Dakota. To accommodate the ever-increasing need for space, an addition is planned north of the EERC's office facilities. The proposed expansion would encompass approximately 60,000 square feet of laboratory and office space and cost approximately $14 million.
"This expansion is an investment in the future of the EERC and is absolutely essential to the continued success of the EERC, which is a key economic engine for the Grand Forks region and, indeed, all of North Dakota," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "On average, we are hiring approximately one new employee a week, a trend which we expect to continue into the foreseeable future. This new building will accommodate office space for about 100 new employees," he said.
Groenewold continued, "We are currently in discussions with the UND administration to finalize the strategy for initiating this construction project."
The EERC is also proposing a significant expansion to its National Center for Hydrogen Technology (NCHT) facility, which was already at full capacity when it opened in late 2008. The EERC plans to add nearly 7,000 square feet (including an area equivalent to a six-story building) of high-bay technology demonstration space and laboratories to the south side of the NCHT building.
The new facility will focus on the development and demonstration of critical technologies for the production of non-petroleum-derived liquid fuels (jet, diesel, and gasoline) and hydrogen, utilizing North Dakota's valuable domestic energy resources.
"The expansion of the NCHT facility has been approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education," said EERC Associate Director for Business and Operations John Hendrikson. "We are now working with the U.S. Department of Energy to finalize the funding for the project. We anticipate breaking ground as soon as funding is awarded this spring."
"This is the cornerstone facility for advancing what we call 'Fuels of the Future' into commercially marketable products," Groenewold said. "This is not intended for research and development alone but also for working with key corporate partners to commercially deploy innovative technologies," he said. The total cost of the new Fuels of the Future facility will be approximately $4 million.
Two other potential multimillion-dollar building projects are also in the works at the EERC that will lead to significant expansion and modification of facilities. One is a project with Accelergy Corporation, Houston, Texas, to develop a technology to produce specialty liquid jet fuels used by the military from cleaner nonpetroleum sources. The other, with a major project partner, will expand a current technology demonstration facility on the south side of the EERC's property.
-- Derek Walters, Communications Manager, EERC, email@example.com, 777-5113