DoE: US$8.5m for on wind energy-focused projects and US$25m for wind testing centre

“Wind energy is one of our most promising renewable energy sources,” says Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The selections for wind energy projects were divided into four topic areas: market acceptance, environmental impact, workforce development, and distributed wind technology. Selections of two additional topic areas (supporting wind turbine research and testing and transmission analysis; planning and assessments) will be announced at a later date, DoE says.

The full list of wind energy focused projects is available from DoE.

US$25m for wind testing centre

DoE says it also intends to award Massachusetts US$25m in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate development of the state’s Wind Technology Testing Center creating “hundreds of new jobs in the area.”

The centre will test commercial-sized wind turbine blades to help reduce cost, improve technical advancements and speed deployment of the next generation of wind turbine blades into the marketplace, according to DoE.

“This is part of President Obama’s broad agenda to make sure that our country leads the world in capturing the clean energy jobs of the future,” says Chu. “As the world moves toward a significant expansion in wind power, the test blade facility will help make sure that the best, most efficient wind turbines are built right here in America.”

With the announced Recovery Act funding, construction of the facility can begin in September, and could be complete by the end of 2010.

Once finished, the wind testing centre could be the first commercial large wind turbine blade test facility in the USA, allowing for testing of blades longer than 50 m, which currently can be done in Europe but not in the USA.