New institute will study renewable energy technology

“We designed an infrastructure that provides a backbone for research, but remains adaptable to the academic and business communities’ needs as they change over time,” Thomas said.

Researchers will study technologies that impact the use of solar and renewable energy in southwest Florida as well as technologies to improve farming applications of renewable energy developments.

Outdoor experimentation areas will allow for the study of solar desalination of brackish water and anaerobic digestion of food wastes. The site will provide research into active media for use in greenhouses for temperature control as well as the development of shade tolerant landscape plants to grow under solar panels.

The ETI is the first venture in a planned 240-acre technology park known as the Innovation Hub (iHUB), which is being developed by Galvano Development.

“The aim is to create the world’s next great university research park… along the lines of Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. iHUB is the perfect point of entry for new companies who see the growth potential of renewable energy, and a great option for established companies interested in the advantages of relocating to a region poised for growth,” said Rich Galvano, principal of Galvano Development.

“The ETI is the cornerstone of an economic development effort that will bring jobs and economic diversification to Southwest Florida,” said FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw. “The ETI will be an education and research center focused on sustainable energy issues, which is in line with FGCU’s mission and is good for the State of Florida.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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