Dubbed the world’s most advanced wind turbine drive-train testing facility and a grid-scale distributed power generation simulator, the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center dedicated yesterday at Clemson University is state of the art. The facility will vet technology needed to upgrade the aging US power grid. “Central to updating and improving the efficiency and reliability of the aging electrical transmission infrastructure is developing technologies that can integrate seamlessly into the existing grid. A world-class grid simulation facility that mimics real-world conditions — without real-world risks to the existing grid — is needed to test and validate these innovations,” Clemson said in a statement. [Clemson University]

Tesla’s marketing guru, George Blankenship, has reportedly left the company. Blankenship played an integral part in creating Apple’s successful stores and helped develop a Tesla shopping experience designed to “put a smile on anyone’s face who walked in.” [Gigaom]

The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a bill that would speed up oil and gas well permitting in federal lands. “The measure was one of three energy measures the House was considering this week as Republicans controlling the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that’s lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.” [Associated Press]