From: Steve Raabe, The Denver Post
Published January 6, 2005 12:00 AM

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Gets New Director in Golden, Colo.

Dan E. Arvizu was named director Tuesday of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden by U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.


He succeeds former astronaut and NASA administrator Richard Truly, who announced his retirement in June after serving as the agency's director for more than seven years.


"Renewable energy has a significant role to play; not the only role, but a significant one," Arvizu said. "I plan to strengthen the role of the laboratory in providing credible technology solutions that are viable in the marketplace." Arvizu, 54, served until this week as senior vice president and chief technology officer for Douglas County-based engineering giant CH2M Hill.


Known by its acronym NREL, the laboratory is a nonprofit agency that performs research for government and private-sector clients. NREL is considered one of the nation's premier institutes for research on wind and solar power.


"These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely," said Craig Cox, executive director of the Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies, a nonprofit advocacy group. "Dan could be the guy to make that happen." U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., called Arvizu "an outstanding choice. You would have to look long and hard for someone more qualified." "Dr. Arvizu is the entire package. His background includes all the experience an NREL director needs to be successful," said U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo.


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NREL's 2004 budget was $212 million.


Although relatively stable in recent years, the budget in the 1980s had been a political football, rising as high as $124 million in 1980 under the Carter administration before falling as low as $52 million under President Reagan.


Arvizu recently was appointed to the National Science Board by President Bush. He was named one of the "Top 50 Most Important Hispanics in Business and Technology" by Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology Magazine.


Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News


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