Clean Energy Research Facility ( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – Governor Deval Patrick joined representatives from the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) to celebrate the opening of the center’s new building in South Boston’s Innovation District. The new facility includes a living laboratory that will support companies and clean energy technologies, and help continue to build Massachusetts’ global-leading clean energy technology cluster.
“This building is a brick and mortar example of how our clean energy policies are producing real results here in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “This living laboratory will provide the necessary backdrop to test the promising solar and energy efficiency technologies of tomorrow.”
Fraunhofer CSE is part of an international clean energy research network spearheaded by Germany’s Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest contract research and development organization. Its new South Boston facility has 42 employees. Fraunhofer is the latest example of a global energy company expanding into Massachusetts, a testament to the strength of Massachusetts’ clean energy innovation ecosystem.
“The Fraunhofer CSE Living Laboratory was developed to further the advancement of sustainable energy systems and nurture a thriving clean energy community,” said Fraunhofer CSE Director Dr. Christian Hoepfner.
We are honored to have strong partners in the pursuit of these goals and would like to thank the Commonwealth for their continued support of our work.
The building, which is over 100 years old and was once slated for demolition, was retrofitted using high-efficiency technologies, such as hydronic heating and cooling, LED lighting, innovative insulation and automated building management. Many of these technologies were provided free to Fraunhofer so that the manufacturer can test in a real-world environment. The building serves as a laboratory to test cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies, helping emerging companies study the viability of their products in preparation for the marketplace.
“Massachusetts remains a top destination for innovation, including clean energy innovation,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “We remain committed to supporting these types of developments that are helping to build a strong economic future for our Commonwealth.”
“The cutting-edge technologies tested at this facility will help Massachusetts reach the ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals Governor Patrick has set,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “Emerging companies will be able to use Fraunhofer CSE to grow their businesses here in the Commonwealth.”
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has invested $7.5 million since 2008 to help establish Fraunhofer CSE as a resource for the local clean technology ecosystem and to leverage private and federal funding to Massachusetts. As one part of this work, Fraunhofer CSE has connected 23 Massachusetts-based early-stage clean energy technology companies with more than $54 million in follow-on venture funding through the center’s TechBridge program, which helps clean energy start-ups build, develop and validate their technologies towards commercialization.
“Fraunhofer CSE is an invaluable resource in Massachusetts’ global-leading cleantech cluster,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “The Fraunhofer CSE living laboratory will support companies and technologies that will help Massachusetts reach its ambitious clean energy goals and create jobs here in the Commonwealth.”
The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits for the Commonwealth, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed at 5,500 the clean tech firms across Massachusetts.