Texas is in a nationwide race for a giant new U.S. Department of Energy-backed wind turbine research and development center.
The Lone Star Wind Alliance, a Texas-led coalition of universities, government agencies, and corporate partners, submitted a proposal for the project to the federal government Nov. 13.
The University of Houston co-headed the effort with Texas General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Patterson says he expects the bid winner, or a short list of candidates, to be announced in December.
In a release, Patterson says: “Where else but Texas can they build a test facility large enough to handle the nation’s needs for the next generation of wind turbines?”
Patterson says the potential impact of the so-called National Large Wind Turbine Research & Testing Facility will be what NASA’s impact was on Houston during the space race in the 1960s.
“Anyone building wind turbines will want to be next to this facility,” Patterson says. “Our facility will be a magnet for research and manufacturing. It will establish Texas as a worldwide leader in wind power for many years to come.”
The Lone Star Wind Alliance includes the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, the Houston Advanced Research Center, Stanford University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, Old Dominion University, the Texas General Land Office, the State Energy Conservation Office, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, the Texas Workforce Commission, Governor Rick Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund, Good Company Associates and the Wind Coalition.
In May, the Department of Energy announced it was looking for partners to build new operations capable of testing wind turbine blades up to 230 feet long.
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