West Virginia High Technology Foundation

The West Virginia High Technology Foundation has announced their plans for two major projects for the I-79 High Technology Park. The first will be a solar test bed aiming to spark growth in renewable energy; the second will be a new NOAA ground station to monitor and collect space weather data.

The Foundation conducts intensive R&D projects in physics, electrical engineering, computer science and related fields for a range of government and industrial customers. With a vast team of experts and scientists, the Foundation acts as an engine of economic change across regional, statewide, and national high-tech business sectors.

The I-79 High Technology Park is their premier location for high priority Federal operations that require advanced electrical and telecommunications infrastructure. The park is located within the heart of the I-79 High Technology Corridor just south of Fairmont, West Virginia.

The team is in the process of finalizing plans for the solar test bed, which will include a 1-megawatt solar grid. The grid should generate energy and be used for testing and evaluation in future projects. The production of the test bed will be completed in collaboration with West Virginia University and FirstEnergy Corp.

The second project will see the construction of a third satellite ground station for NOAA. The other two satellites have proven to be crucial to weather and climate data collecting for years and will benefit from the additional location. The new station will collect a new type of weather data – that of space itself. The new data will be collected from a satellite that will eventually sit in an area of space known as Lagrange 1. This area is a central point between the Earth and the Sun which will allow the satellite to collect data associated with space weather. Space weather impacts Earth’s weather conditions as well as satellite communications. This third station will ensure the foundation has the most comprehensive coverage and collection of climate and weather data across the globe.

The Foundation hopes both of these projects will be completed by the end of the calendar year. Foundation President and CEO Jim Estep believes that both the ground station and the solar test bed could mean huge things for the I-79 High Technology Park and North Central West Virginia in general, and he’s excited to see both projects get up and running.

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