Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces State Funding for Renewable Energy and Efficiency Research

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Move demonstrates the importance of energy issues to Fletcher administration

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Governor’s Office of Energy Policy announced today that it will provide $518,192 in funding to the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville for energy research projects.  Funded projects include biodiesel production, cellulosic ethanol research and efficiency in aluminum melting.

“In October 2006, I committed $1 million to support research and development projects that specifically address energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities for the Commonwealth. This is the first installment on that commitment,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Energy efficiency and renewable energy provide new opportunities and markets for Kentucky.  This research will help us capture these opportunities.”

Below is a list of projects and the amount awarded:

  • “Canola and Sunflower for Oil/Biofuel Production in Kentucky,”  Dr. Sam McNeill, University of Kentucky, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering $57,487
  • “Construction of a Fixed Bed Reactor for Continuous Production of Biodiesel,” Dr. Mark Crocker, University of Kentucky, Center for Applied Energy Research, $58,413
  • “Improving Biodiesel Production Efficiency,”   Dr. David Hildebrand, University of Kentucky, Plant and Soil Sciences, $85,237
  • “Kentucky Industrial Wood Wastes as a Renewable Energy Resource,”  Dr. R. Eric Berson, University of Louisville, Department of Chemical Engineering, $135,855
  • “Aluminum Melting Furnace Design Optimization Using Integrated Modeling,” Dr. Subodh Das, University of Kentucky, Center for Aluminum Technology, $181,200

Twenty renewable energy and energy efficiency proposals, valued at more than $2.1 million, were submitted for evaluation.  Those funded were selected on five criteria that included technical merit, partner diversity and relevance to Kentucky’s energy strategy.

“It is fitting that we are able to announce these grant awards during Kentucky’s Earth Day activities,” said John Davies, director for the Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. “Kentucky’s researchers are finding new solutions that will help strengthen our energy future while respecting the environment.”

The grants, which will be awarded in May, are targeted at advancing the goals of the Commonwealth’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy.  The document is available at