A new partnership between West Virginia University and one of the world’s largest energy companies will promote discoveries that could provide cleaner, cheaper energy to countries across the globe, bolstering economies and providing a better future for the world’s citizens.
Officials from WVU and a delegation from China Shenhua Energy Company gathered in Morgantown today (Oct. 27) to create a partnership focused on the development of clean energy technologies.
Provost Joyce McConnell signed a memorandum of understanding with Wang Shumin, senior vice president of Shenhua, one of the largest coal producers and electricity generators in the world.
“We are so excited to enter into this partnership with Shenhua Energy Company,” said Provost McConnell. “As all our constituents know, we at WVU are absolutely committed to making a positive impact on our state, our region and our world. Engaging in this collaborative research, focused on clean energy, is a powerful way to ensure that we have that positive impact.”
Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. who serves West Virginia’s 1st congressional district and was invited to take part in today’s signing ceremony, visited China last fall and met with Shenhua’s chairman and president to see their operations firsthand.
“Our mission has been to diversify the economy through research so we can grow the number of good paying jobs here in West Virginia. The signing of today’s agreement is a welcome development because the partnership between Shenhua and West Virginia University will help achieve that goal,” said McKinley.
The partnership will promote collaboration on technology innovation, education and training exchanges, and joint energy business development across WVU’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources College of Business and Economics Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and College of Law.
It will also enable WVU to have a closer relationship with Shenhua as a strategic partner in energy issues.
“The Shenhua Group has developed a vision as a global comprehensive energy company, including clean low-carbon coal utilization, nuclear power, wind, solar and coal-to-chemicals,” said Brian Anderson, director of WVU’s Energy Institute. “The partnership between WVU and Shenhua will allow WVU students and faculty to further collaborate with leading scientists in China on the next generation low-carbon energy technologies that will be essential to simultaneously lowering our environmental footprint while utilizing the carbon fuel resources abundant in West Virginia and China.”
Shenhua has business interests in coal production, renewable energy, power generation, railroads, ports and seaborne shipments. It is also leading the world on coal conversion and chemical production including research and development and demonstrations.
WVU and Shenhua have a long history of collaboration, including joint research and development, training and educational exchanges, which have been recognized as important collaborations between the United States and China.
- The new partnership demonstrates WVU’s global leadership across the sector ranging from energy resources to mining to environment. Recent projects include:
- The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory, the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of shale gas resources.
- A partnership with the Itaipu Dam, one of the top hydroelectric power producers in the world.
- One of only 13 Regional Innovation Forum Events, which included U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Rep. McKinley and Sen. Joe Manchin.
- A cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources to create The International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment, or INFUSE, a unique technical program dedicated to increasing other countries’ understanding of best practices for unconventional gas resource development through a mix of classroom and in the field activities.