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Midwest Research Institute to Initiate New Energy Resource Alliance

For more information contact:
Contact: Lola Butcher
(816) 753-7600, ext. 1207

Kansas City, MO, February 28, 1997 -- Midwest Research Institute (MRI) announced today that it is embarking upon a new initiative to advance entrepreneurial enterprises working to expand the use of clean energy technologies.

The New Energy Resource Alliance (New ERA) will pursue innovative, market-oriented activities aimed at improving consumer's knowledge of, access to and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. New ERA combines business experience and technological expertise to accelerate adoption of new, clean energy technologies. Its ultimate goal is to accelerate the emergence of these technologies as an important contributor to meeting world energy needs.

New ERA is an outgrowth of MRI's 20 years of experience in managing the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

"Since the formation of NREL's predecessor, the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in 1977, MRI has been actively involved in the research, development and deployment of renewable energy technologies," said John McKelvey, president and chief executive officer of MRI. "We are very proud of the many achievements of NREL/SERI. The formation of New ERA reflects MRI's commitment to expanding the role of renewable energy technologies in the international energy marketplace."

MRI has selected Dr. Charles F. Gay, the present director of NREL, to lead New ERA. Gay is the former president of ARCO Solar Inc. and Siemens Solar Industries.

"Traditional energy industries—such as electric utilities in the U.S.—are approaching a period of unprecedented transformation to provide market competition and consumer choice," Gay said. "At the same time, new global industries are emerging to provide electricity to the 2 billion people in the world who don't currently have access to adequate energy services. New ERA will play a vital role in facilitating the success of these new and changing industries. I am pleased to have been selected for this prestigious position. I share MRI's commitment to expanding the role of renewable energy technologies in the international energy marketplace."

Remarking on his tenure as NREL director, Gay said, "The men and women of NREL are a wonderful team, and it's been a joy to have been on that team. NREL is recognized worldwide as a leader in renewable energy technologies. I look forward to collaborating with my NREL colleagues in building New ERA."

Gay will begin his New ERA responsibilities immediately. New ERA will draw upon personnel in Kansas City, Denver and Washington, D.C.

"MRI has unique capabilities to assist in developing the entrepreneurial linkages for providing electricity to the world's population and thereby enabling people everywhere to enjoy a higher standard of living and a healthier environment," said Henry W. Bloch, chairman of the board of MRI. "Dr. Gay's background and experience make him an ideal choice to direct this new effort."

MRI, based in Kansas City, is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides scientific and economic research for both public agencies and private industry.


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