San Jose State University launches 'battery university' with industry

Jeff Bingaman, the former U.S. Senator from New Mexico and longtime chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will join a group on Tuesday that is launching a

Jeff Bingaman, the former U.S. Senator from New Mexico and longtime chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will join a group on Tuesday that is launching a "battery university" at San Jose State University.

San Jose State is teaming with a consortium of California battery makers to train workers for the industry.

The "battery university" will be launched in San Jose with the assistance of CalCharge, a San Francisco-based group formed last year by CalCEF — which creates clean energy institutions and investment vehicles — and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

It will offer courses through San Jose State’s continuing education program to educate a specialty work force needed now for the rapidly growing battery industry.

Most battery manufacturing today takes place in China. But there are about 40 battery-related companies in California that are tackling energy storage challenges that are used for electric vehicles, solar and wind power and in consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets and other mobile computers.

"The fast-emerging energy storage industry is key to the continuing success of the multi-billion dollar global clean energy economy," said Jeffrey Anderson, interim executive director of CalCharge, in a prepared statement. "Ceding this important sector to another country would be a tragic and short sighted mistake."

Battery university classes are expected to start this summer in partnership with San Jose State's engineering college, which produces more engineering professionals to Silicon Valley than any other university.

Read more in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

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