DOE Provides $45M for Wind Turbine Test Facility

Nov 29 2009 | 8:28pm ET

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide South Carolina’s Clemson University with up to $45 million for a wind energy test facility for utility-scale wind turbines.

Announcing the funding – which will be awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the U.S. was “at the beginning of a new Industrial Revolution when it comes to clean energy and projects like these will help us get there faster.”

The Large Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing facility will allow testing of large-scale turbine drivetrain systems. Wind turbines have been gradually increasing in size, and are now too big for existing testing facilities in the United States.

The new facility will be located at the Charleston Naval Complex, a former Navy base in North Charleston, S.C. and will be a part of the Clemson University Restoration Institute campus.  The test facility will operate as a non-profit organization with a business model designed for sustainability while providing ongoing state-of-the-art testing to wind turbine manufacturers.

The facility will feature power analysis equipment capable of performing highly accelerated life testing of land-based and offshore wind turbine drive systems rated at 5-15 megawatts (MW).

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