WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that eight new and improved energy efficiency test facilities will be built at seven of its national laboratories with the help of $104.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. DOE said the projects will support the development and improvement of energy efficiency technologies of strategic national interest. This includes exploring advanced technologies for net-zero-energy buildings. DOE said the effort will leverage the resources of its national laboratories to support technologies that will help transform the economy and create jobs, while decreasing carbon emissions. The eight national laboratories are located in California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Three of the funded projects relate to the technologies needed to build net-zero-energy buildings, which employ renewable energy systems to produce as much energy over the course of a year as they consume. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop the Integrated Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research Laboratory, which will include a research platform for commercial buildings; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California will build and operate the National User Facility for Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research, which will allow for the integrated testing of building technologies; and the National Energy Technology Laboratory will build a 35,000-square-foot Performance Verification Laboratory to perform nearly 17,000 verification tests per year on a broad range of residential and commercial appliances.

Publication date:12/14/2009