Today at Berkeley Lab

As ARRA Spending Comes to a Close, Legacy for Berkeley Lab is Vast

— By Keri Troutman

ALS-USB-ext-Sep8-smIn September, Berkeley Lab closed out the remaining projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, a federal stimulus package signed into law by President Obama. Since the initial funding allotment in March 2009 from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Berkeley Lab received $302 million direct DOE funds and $32 million from other national labs, federal agencies, and sponsors. In total, the Lab received $334 million from DOE to spend on 134 ARRA projects over the past six years.

Much of the ARRA funding has gone towards infrastructure upgrades, but science programs have also benefited. ARRA-funded projects have included the Bevatron demolition, the BELLA advanced laser plasma accelerator, Advanced Light Source upgrades, the Magellean cloud computing initiative, the Advanced Network Initiative, the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU), and a wide range of research across divisions. The funding has covered a broad array of research, from batteries and energy efficiency to health, nanoscience, computer networking, and accelerator science.

“ARRA funds helped us stimulate the market for high-performance networking components at a time when vendors were not comfortable taking risks,” says Gregory Bell, Director of ESnet. “With our partner Internet2, we prototyped and built the world’s first 100Gbps continental-scale network, in support of data-intensive science applications across the DOE complex.”

“The ALS User Support Building (pictured) construction project received a portion of its funding through the ARRA program and that allowed the project to recover from delays caused from the standard funding stream,” says Steve Rossi, project and facility management group leader at the ALS. ”ARRA funds also allowed us to execute a brightness upgrade of the ALS, and to design and fabricate beyond state-of-the-art CCD cameras for the collection of data at our beamlines.”

Jobs created and retained by Berkeley Lab and by its subcontractors totaled 2,017. All ARRA projects were completed, closed, and de-obligated by September 30, 2015, successfully meeting the closeout requirements set by DOE.