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ODU Partnered Alliance to Build Wind Turbine Testing Facility

The Lone Star Wind Alliance, a partnership between various energy companies and research universities that includes Old Dominion University, has reached an agreement to build a new wind turbine testing facility in Ingleside, Texas.

The Large Blade Research and Test Facility (LBR&TF), being built in cooperation with the Federal Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will be dedicated to testing and developing larger, next-generation wind power turbines.

Once completed, the facility will have to ability to conduct the full-scale testing of 70-ft blades, which are designed to meet the growing need for megawatt-scale industrial turbines. According to the LSWA, the LBR&TF will be the largest, most advanced turbine research and test facility in the world.

For their part in the project, ODU's researchers are employing the university's wind tunnel capability to test whether or not the blades can meet requirements for life expectancy, performance, and cost.

Texas is currently produces more electricity from wind than any other state in the U.S., and already boasts some of the most advanced wind-power research facilities in the world.

The agreement between the LSWA and the NREL will provide the new facility technical and operational assistance, plus $2 million in testing equipment. LSWA has also received $5 million in funding to be put toward construction from the Texas State Legislature. The facility is expected to be completed in 2010.

Following completion, the LBR&TF will largely be operated and funded by private wind turbine and blade manufacturers, though the NREL will have access to the facility to conduct their own research.

This article was posted on: June 12, 2008

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