A technology company envisions transforming the University of Wyoming into a beacon for solar energy innovation nationwide.
The new firm, called 9H Energy Development LLC, has ambitious plans to create a solar generation research facility three miles from the university’s campus. Developers will work in tandem with faculty and students at UW’s College of Engineering and Applied Science to learn and test out solar energy technology.
The company aims to construct the non-commercial 0.5-megawatt solar facility entirely on private land owned by 9H Ranch, located alongside Interstate 80 in Albany County. The ranch includes 12,000 acres of flat land with access to two transmission lines and two electrical substations, according to the company. The initial phase of the project will take up about five acres.
“The idea behind this research center is quite simple,” Paul Bonifas, director of operations at 9H Energy, told the Star-Tribune. “It’s to attract not only the best professors in the renewable energy sphere, but also students who want to focus their studies on renewable energy. We want them to come to UW.”