Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to receive $124M from stimulus

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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DoE) Office of Science will send $124 million to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for capital investments and upgrades as part of its $1.6 billion allotment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Specifically, PNNL will receive funding for capital upgrades and instrumentation for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility and for energy conservation projects on the PNNL campus in Richland, Wash.

"These projects not only provide critically needed short-term economic relief but also represent a strategic investment in our nation's future," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "They will create thousands of jobs and breathe new life into many local economies, while helping to accelerate new technology development, renew our scientific and engineering workforce, and modernize our nation's scientific infrastructure."

The Office of Science funding will be used as follows:

  • $60 million to accelerate planned capital investments for the EMSL, a DoE national scientific user facility that addresses environmental and scientific challenges;
  • $60 million in capital upgrades for ARM's Climate Research Facility, another DoE national scientific user facility. The money will improve and expand observational capabilities related to cloud and aerosol properties to define the role aerosols have in affecting regional climate and atmospheric circulation; and
  • $4 million in energy equipment upgrades and improvements in three PNNL facilities.

Chu said that the $124 million is the first installment of a total of $1.6 billion under the ARRA. Officials are working on details remaining to enable approval and release of the remaining funds, according to PNNL.

PNNL said it has submitted proposals for ARRA funding to other DoE program offices and other federal agencies that support research at PNNL.