Beyond a presidential photo opportunity, energy research is federal priority
Wisconsin Technology Network
By Tom Still
MADISON - Every president, Republican and Democrat, likes to visit Main Street businesses. It's a guaranteed news story in the city or state where Air Force One lands for the day, it usually helps local candidates of the same party, and the story often goes national if the president uses the setting to make a larger point about his administration's policies.
Sometimes, of course, it's little more than a “photo op,” but there's usually more substance than not behind the typical Bring-a-President-to-Work Day. President Obama's recent stop at ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls was just such an example.
Among other Wisconsin stops more political in nature, Obama toured ZBB Energy Aug. 16 to underscore his support for the search for sources of alternative energy. The size of the federal investment in energy research and development suggests it's no casual commitment.
ZBB builds energy storage systems that link with renewable energy systems, which allows electrical power to continue flowing when wind turbines aren't spinning or solar panels aren't collecting rays from the sun. ZBB Energy is expanded production of its rechargeable zinc bromide flow batteries (hence the ZBB name) and intelligent power control platforms with the help of a $1.3 million state energy loan. That loan, financed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be repaid over seven years.
Submitted by mbroeren on Tue, 2010-08-24 12:47