The National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE), Texas Tech University (TTU), and industrial and research partners, will soon power up the first of several planned renewable energy test and production facilities to help resolve key issues facing the wind power and broader clean energy industries.
The first wind turbines will be placed at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas. Work is now under way on the large-scale wind turbine platform and is planned for completion later this year. The installation will serve to aid in certification and further development of new technologies from several multinational corporations in the wind and renewable energy sectors.
TTU and the National Wind Resource Center (NWRC) will have research access to these turbines. NWRC is initially focused on solutions to the three main challenges faced nationally in the wind power industry: enhancing the performance and reliability of wind power, decreasing the cost of wind power, and addressing power-storage issues.
South Plains Electric Co-Op, in coordination with Golden Spread Electric, will purchase the power generated at the wind farm. The collaboration with industry partners is expected to support several hundred full-time engineering, production and technical support jobs in Texas, according to NIRE.
In addition, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a $5.2 million competitive grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy, with TTU faculty as the lead academic investigators with a number of collaborating academic and industrial partners. The grant is aimed at advancing wind energy forecasting and midsize wind turbine research.
SOURCE: The National Institute for Renewable Energy