NV Energy has pledged $450,000 to the University of Nevada, Reno in continued support of the Jeff Ceccarelli Renewable Energy Minor Program and renewable energy research, as announced this week by the NV Energy Foundation.
"NV Energy's support over the past several years has helped to pioneer the University's effort to become a leader in renewable energy development research, education and outreach," University President Marc Johnson said.
This new commitment brings the total NV Energy Foundation funding to $2 million since the inception of the program in 2003. Support from NV Energy and other organizations, along with collaborative efforts with other educational institutions, have enabled the University to obtain more than $17 million for renewable energy research.
Michael Yackira, chief executive officer and president of NV Energy, said the University should be congratulated on its leadership and vision in bringing such valuable programs to northern Nevada and the region.
"The University continues to provide an important role in developing the expertise and research needed to make Nevada the recognized leader on renewable energy programs and research," Yackira said.
Last year, the renewable energy program at the University was renamed in honor of past NV Energy executive and Nevada alumnus Jeff Ceccarelli, who retired in June 2012 after 40 years with the company. Ceccarelli is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board and an emeritus member of the Alumni Council. In 2009, he was honored as the Nevada Alumni Association's Alumnus of the Year.
"NV Energy, its foundation and employees have been true partners in our efforts to bring renewable energy programs, studies and research to the University of Nevada, Reno," Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering, said. "We're pleased to continue our partnership with NV Energy."
According to Maragakis, the financial support from NV Energy and others has made it possible for the University's Renewable Energy Center to attract some of the world's leading experts on renewable energy, including Ghassan Jabbour, who recently accepted a faculty position at the University. He previously served as the director of advanced photovoltaics at Arizona State University. Jabbour holds numerous patents and has edited several books about nanotechnology.
Maragakis said the addition of top-caliber faculty to the Renewable Energy Center will ensure the center will continue to thrive, and provide the expertise necessary for Nevada to become a worldwide leader in renewable energy development.
Through its foundation, NV Energy distributes contributions throughout its northern and southern Nevada service territory. Through direct grants, scholarships and volunteerism, the foundation actively supports improvements in the quality of life in the communities NV Energy serves. Funding for the foundation comes from NV Energy shareholders.