Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center Officially Opens

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Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., joined state and federal officials and wind industry leaders in Charlestown on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's (MassCEC) Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC), which will be capable of testing large-scale wind turbine blades.

‘New England winds have tested the wills of sailors and citizens for centuries,’ said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. ‘Now we will be taking the lead in testing and developing the wind turbines that will help power our nation in the 21st century. This new clean energy facility will help ensure that the Bay State has a front-row seat for the clean energy revolution.’

The WTTC will provide three test stands (providing the ability to test three blades simultaneously), 100 tons of overhead bridge crane capacity and a full suite of certification tests for turbine blades up to 90 meters in length.

In addition, as part of its effort to help the wind industry deploy the next generation of onshore and offshore wind turbine technologies, the WTTC will offer the latest wind turbine blade testing and prototype-development methodologies, research and development (R&D), blade repair capabilities and hands-on workforce training.

The WTTC is positioned on an existing deepwater port and near interstate highways, close to numerous clean energy research and academic centers in the Boston area. The blades will be shipped to the facility primarily by water, with shorter blades shipped by road, if required.

Last fall, global wind blade manufacturer TPI Composites, which will be a customer of the WTTC, opened a wind blade R&D and prototype manufacturing facility in Fall River and is currently working on building its first prototype wind blades.

The WTTC was awarded $24.7 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate development of the facility. MassCEC provided $13.2 million in grants and loans for the design and initial development expenses for the project.

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