Published on June 3rd, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst2
NREL Announces R&D Partnerships With Siemens and the University of Houston
NREL Director Dan Arvizu made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Houston. “We are very excited to be a part of this new movement,” said Mr. Arvizu. He added that wind power has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and that things have changed quite dramatically.
The announcement came just one day after Vestas Wind Systems, and DOE’s Andy Karsner announced that it had chosen Houston, Texas as the location for its new research facility in the U.S.The three projects announced today all have the general goal of increasing understanding of how wind power facilites operate in the real world. It is believed that this sort of research will have a profound impact on industry growth and turbine cost. The University of Houston project will be a large-turbine blade test facility located in Corpus Christi. Donald Birks of the University of Houston said he hoped the large research bays in Houston is just the “beginning of many great things to come.”
The other two projects announced today will be Siemens new R&D facility in Boulder, CO and the installation of Siemens’ newest 2.3 MW, 101 meter turbine at the National Wind Technology Center located south of Boulder. “Boulder will be Siemens’ first wind turbine R&D competence center in the U.S. and will increase our ability to competitively serve this important market,” said Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Siemens Wind Power Business Unit.
“Because of the proximity of important institutions such as NREL and the NWTC, Boulder is the perfect location for a R&D center in the U.S.,” added Nauen. The projects will ultimately employ about 50 individuals when fully operational.
The Boulder location was also chosen to leverage potential collaboration efforts with other institutions including NREL, NWTC, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaborative. “It is these kinds of public-private collaborations that will help us meet the 20%” goal announced last month by the DOE, said Director Arvizu.
Photo Courtesy of Siemens
**Thanks to the American Wind Energy Association for their generous conference support.