George Bonner serves as North Carolina’s Director of Renewable Ocean Energy leading research and development of marine energy solutions across University of North Carolina system. Following retirement from a 30-year career in the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) in July 2019, Bonner returned home to his new position at the Coastal Studies Institute on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Captain Bonner’s USCG career included command assignments as Commander, USCG Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center and Commanding Officer of USCG Facilities Design and Construction Center. Throughout his career, he has led strategic efforts to enhance coastal infrastructure resiliency and sustainability while adapting to a changing climate. Captain Bonner served on the Steering Committee for the White House’s Inter-Governmental Pilot to adopt a Whole of Government and Community approach to sea level rise challenges.
Captain Bonner is a graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy. He has a Master of Science in Engineering from University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Engineering from Old Dominion.
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF INTERESTS:
Interested in holistic approaches to support energy transitions and complementing renewables with marine energy solutions. Co-Director for DOE’s Atlantic Marine Energy Consortium focused on research and testing to support commercialization of marine energy solutions in blue economy.
As a Regional Community Partner (Southeast US) for DOE’s Energy Transition Infrastructure Partnership Project (ETIPP), interested in resilience for islands and remote coastal communities.
The focus of the proposed Engine is on clean energy resource technologies, including land-based and offshore wind, solar, and marine energy, as well as the electric-energy delivery and storage systems that support their integration. The Engine will support the net-carbon-neutral electric grid of 2050 that is now required by law in North Carolina and is a compelling goal in South Carolina. The Engine will address the complexities of renewable resource integration, such as frequency instability of and need for hybrid energy storage systems, to achieve the goal of a reliable and resilient electric grid of 2050. The Engine will develop new and strengthen existing partnerships for workforce development, and the life cycle of clean energy equipment and components, to foster a circular, inclusive, and equitable economy and address the vital needs of underserved and diverse communities through energy transformation (such as public transportation, affordable housing, and sustainable, community agriculture). The Engineâ€™s self-sustaining innovation ecosystem will enable translational outcomes and develop workforce with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and accessibility in its organization, partnerships, and activities.
Bonner will lead project management in conjunction with Co-PI Linda DÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢Anna; serve as primary point of contact for coordination of CSIÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s role with NREL; lead CSI team in Community Selection and application review; lead development of regionally specific training material; lead technical assistance workplan development for Community Stakeholder Engagement; attend in person and virtual training sessions; participate in network meeting and provide lessons learned and feedback on program to NREL as part of Knowledge Sharing Network.
Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) is included in a University Constortium led by University of New Hampshire to establish the Atlantic Marine Energy Center (AMEC). AMEC will serve as a National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NMREC) to complement three existing NMRECs. The AMEC focus is to advance the commercial availability and application of marine energy technologies in the Atlantic region of the U.S. and support WPTOÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s goal to grow and expand university involvement in the marine energy industry.