On Wednesday, January 15, President Obama announced that North Carolina State University will be home to a new Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute.  This newest energy-focused initiative at N.C. State is designed as a public-private partnership that will bring together over 25 companies, universities and state and federal organizations to invent and manufacture wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics.  WBG semiconductor technology is a cutting-edge field that is expected to replace current silicon-based semiconductor technology, making electronic components and infrastructure across the utility, industrial, and household sectors smaller, faster and more efficient.

The Institute will be supported by a $70 million US DOE grant investment over five years, as well as $70 million in matching non-federal investment from the State of North Carolina and other partners.  In addition to this innovative new Institute, N.C. State is also home to the North Carolina Solar Center (managing the nationally-recognized DSIRE database) and the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center.

More information on the new Institute can be found on N.C. State’s website (http://www.ncsu.edu/power/ ) and the US DOE’s FAQ (http://energy.gov/articles/factsheet-next-generation-power-electronics-manufacturing-innovation-institute)