Mar 11, 2021
LARAMIE – A University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied
Science alumnus is using his Laramie ranch to create a solar energy research
facility that will donate its energy proceeds to the university while also
creating research and curriculum opportunities for students and faculty
Gene Humphrey, co-founder of 9H Research Foundation, studied mechanical engineering at UW and went on to run the highly successful technology company International Test Solutions. A Wyoming native who grew up in Burns, he owns 9H Ranch in Albany County, just north of Laramie, and was looking for a way to give back to his alma mater.
“9H Research Foundation is committed to the long-term future success of the University of Wyoming and the Laramie community,” he said in a press release. “Our solar research center will allow students to gain hands-on experience for their future careers. Through our partnership with UW, we will be creating endowed professorships and student scholarships to attract the best minds in the clean energy sphere. This will help position Wyoming as the best university for clean energy, driving jobs and economic growth for the state.”
The 9H Research Foundation will donate possibly millions of dollars to UW in the form of clean energy installations and in-kind support services. 9H has begun the construction of a philanthropic student research facility, which includes a 3-megawatt solar installation powered by First Solar Series 6 modules. The research facility also will support the creation of a world-class clean energy engineering curriculum at UW.
“We are thankful to the 9H Research Foundation for the opportunity to lend our support to such an impactful project,” Adam Smith, director of business development for First Solar said in the release. “It is always exciting for us to see our American technology powering American communities and, in this case, also the next generation of American clean tech engineers. The clean energy industry is set to be one of the most important industries globally in the coming decades, with solar energy making up a big portion of it. It is our hope that these modules are the start of an illustrious story for not just the University of Wyoming, but for all Wyomingites.”