TEES

TEES helping San Antonio with its plan to become 21st-century sustainable energy leader

March 9, 2010

The City of San Antonio moved forward with its plan to become a 21st-century sustainable energy leader, and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) will play a role in helping it achieve its goal.

The Mission Verde Center at Cooper is a multipurpose education, training and research center. As a regional asset, the Center’s objectives are to accelerate the development and deployment of existing and new renewable energy and sustainable water technologies, to create new business and job opportunities centered on renewable energy and sustainability and to facilitate private/public investment to build new economic generators driving job growth.

The City of San Antonio has allocated $1 million of its energy efficiency and conservation block grant funds toward energy improvements at the Mission Verde Center. A comprehensive energy and water audit will be conducted on the Cooper campus to establish a baseline for energy and water efficiency retrofits. The audits will be conducted by the Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT), a center within TEES. TCAT will design, implement and monitor these improvements.

"This exciting regional project will help introduce new green technologies to the inner-city while at the same time training a workforce to install and maintain it," said Skip Mills, director of TCAT’s San Antonio operations. "It is a truly collaborative effort with support and assistance from, not only the City of San Antonio, Alamo Colleges, San Antonio Youth Centers, Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, San Antonio ISD, but also from private enterprises including Raba-Kistner Consulting, CRAM Roofing, and H&E equipment. TCAT is proud to be the technology integrator to bring this together and to support this new initiative for San Antonio."

At the center, students will learn about weatherization techniques and will get on-the-job training in sustainability, including using the Texas A&M Solar Decathlon groHome, an Aggie residence powered by the sun. The house, which has been dubbed "SU CASA" for Sustainable Urban Center for the Advancement of San Antonio, was originally built as the Texas A&M University College of Architecture’s entry in the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition sponsored by the Department of Energy. TCAT and the College of Architecture saw enormous potential in relocating this architectural and technological icon to the Cooper campus in San Antonio where it will take on a new life.

The Mission Verde Center will also offer an opportunity for consumers to observe and understand how to interact with new technologies, to provide feedback on how to better insert ideas such as smart meters. It will also provide an opportunity for graduate students at local universities in San Antonio to observe and test the technologies.

About TEES: The Texas Engineering Experiment Station is a member of The Texas A&M University System with a mission to identify and conduct research in areas critical to the state's economic development and quality of life, promote new technology and entrepreneurship, leverage and network human, physical, and financial resources, and enhance and strengthen education in Texas.

About TCAT: The Texas Center for Applied Technology, part of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, promotes economic growth and enhanced quality of life by implementing a spectrum of activities including basic and applied research, development and prototyping, and application to enable economic benefit and technology development throughout Texas and the Nation.

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