39 Attracting outside users The CAES Microscopy and Characterization Suite MaCS built a strong customer base in FY 2012 attracting users from inside and outside the partnership including Micron Nanosteel University of California Santa Barbara University of California Berkeley General Electric Oxford University University of Florida Texas AM and University of Wisconsin- Madison. Improving energy efficiency The CAES Energy Efficiency Research Institute launched a statewide industrial assessment center using a DOE grant. Student teams conducted free energy efficiency assessments for regional companies and manufacturing plants. During FY 2012 the teams conducted eight visits and submitted four reports identifing a total projected energy savings of 1003464 kilowatt hours and a potential cost savings of 109534. Siting solar energy facilities The CAES Energy Policy Institute leads a team of 12 researchers that is developing a computer-based Geographic Information System tool to identify potential sites for large- scale solar energy facilities. The tool analyzes natural resources physical characteristics and public acceptance opinion of where such farms should be located. The 2.8 million project is being funded through DOEs Sunshot Initiative. Sponsored by the CAES Energy Policy Institute the second annualWestern Energy Policy Research Conference featured more than 45 presentations from 33 universities national laboratories and stakeholder groups throughout the U.S. Canada and the United Kingdom.