NSF awards $20 million grant to aid Iowa energy research

A $20 million grant will boost Iowa’s renewable energy efforts. The National Science Foundation awarded this five-year grant, which will primarily go towards energy research. Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa will conduct the bulk of the research.

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West Des Moines strides toward sustainability

Photo by jakebouma, Flickr

By taking measures to improve energy efficiency West Des Moines has cut down both energy consumption and cost in recent years. The Des Moines Register reports that West Des Moines’ improvements include energy conservation efforts at 13 municipal building in the city, and the replacement of old lights with LED bulbs at various city-owned properties. These projects are funded by grants and local dollars, but with the money saved by these changes, the expenditures are only a financial loss in the short term:

All the projects will pay for themselves well before the life of the equipment expires, said Linda Schemmel, an associate city planner.

“We’re really trying to incorporate this into where it’s not just about being green, it’s just the way we are,” she said. “It’s a part of daily life.”

West Des Moines has received more than $567,000 from Iowa’s energy independence program and the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. A large portion of funds – which have been matched with city money or grants from other organizations – have already been put to use, and West Des Moines leaders are seeing results. Continue reading