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Troy, NY -  10/2/2002

Lighting Research Center hires Director of Energy Programs

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) has named Peter Morante as its new Director of Energy Programs. Morante, formerly of Northeast Utilities in Connecticut, will lead the LRC in electric utility issues and policies, and their effect on lighting technology applications. Morante brings 33 years of experience in helping customers use energy efficiently.

"We are excited about Peter joining our staff," said Dr. Mark Rea, of the LRC. "He solidifies and extends our longstanding commitment to energy efficiency." The LRC's mission is to advance the effective use of lighting for society and the environment. "Peter has always been a source of wisdom for the LRC, including serving as a guest lecturer in our Graduate Leadership classes. We're looking forward to working with him on a daily basis."

While at Northeast Utilities, Morante managed one of the most successful demand side management programs in the nation. He has also assisted several countries in Europe and Asia in establishing energy conservation programs.

"I'm happy to be part of the LRC team as we explore how lighting fits into energy efficiency and demand reduction efforts," said Morante. "Lighting will play a key role in the new, restructured electric industry. In fact, lighting may be the only technology that can offer predictable and repeatable demand reduction." One of the key areas Morante will be exploring is known as "Load Management."

Employing load management to reduce peak electric demand leads to lower energy costs and higher electric system reliability, and it has the added benefit of a cleaner environment because electric load management can reduce the need for the use of so-called "Peaker" power plants. Peaker plants are older, usually oil-based generators that are used in times of high electric demand. These less efficient plants produce more pollution as compared to larger plants and are more expensive to operate. Demand reduction on a large scale may also reduce the need to build new power plants and transmission lines.

"Developing more efficient lighting is one part of what we do here at the LRC," said Dr. Rea. "Finding ways to reduce electric demand is another important aspect of our work. Peter Morante will strengthen our effectiveness tremendously."

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, energy efficiency, and plant pathology. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America's first technological research university. The university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science "to the common purposes of life."