Larger blades for the United States (specifically Charlestown, Massachusetts)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A wind turbine with puny blade length compared to the new ones that will be tested in Massachusetts.

No more having to go to Europe to test out large blades anymore. From the Department of Energy:
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Governor Deval Patrick today announced the Department of Energy’s intent to award Massachusetts $25 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate development of the state’s Wind Technology Testing Center and create hundreds of new jobs in the area.

The new center will test commercial-sized wind turbine blades to help reduce cost, improve technical advancements and speed deployment of the next generation of wind turbine blades into the marketplace.

The construction of the facility will begin in September, and will take a bit over a year. The reason why this is important is as follows:

Once finished, the center will be the first commercial large blade test facility in the nation, allowing for testing of blades longer than 50 meters, which currently can be done in Europe but not in the United States – putting American manufacturers at a disadvantage.
The blade length that will be able to be tested at the new facility is 90 metres, whereas the longest being used commercially at the moment have a length of 60 m.

Number of construction jobs to be created by the new funding: 250.

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