The Department of Energy granted $25 million to the state of Massachusetts to accelerate the development of a facility that once completed will become the first commercial facility in the United States able to test wind turbine blades longer than 50 meters.
The funding was announced Tuesday by U.S. Energy secretary Steven Chu and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick at the Boston Autoport in Charlestown, where the Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center will begin construction in September and would be completed by the end of 2010, the Department of Energy said in a statement.
Testing the next generation of wind turbines here will make Massachusetts a hub for the fastest-growing energy source in the world, Governor Patrick said.
The center will attract companies to design, manufacture, and test their blades in the United States, the Department said, rather than shifting them to Europe.
Improving technology for longer blades will be especially useful for large-scale offshore wind power projects, the department said.
Research and development works in the facility will help reduce costs, improve technical advancements and speed the deployment of wind turbine blades.
With today's announcement the Department of Energy has allocated a total of $118 million of funds from the economic stimulus package for wind energy development. The move is part of President Barack Obama's administration’s push to increase use of renewable energy in the U.S.