Wind turbine manufacturer Clipper Windpower has been selected to join a powerhouse consortium of industry and academic leaders to help reach the U.S. Department of Energy’s goal of achieving 20 percent wind power nationwide by 2030. The consortium’s mission, made possible through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, supports research to advance production of wind-generated energy. Clipper’s 2.5 megawatt Liberty turbine will be the centerpiece of a full-scale field site at the University of Minnesota’s UMore Park property in Rosemount, Minnesota.
“The consortium’s addition of Clipper Windpower is part of a strategy to advance the wind power industry over the next decade,” explained Fotis Sotiropoulos, director of Eolos – the wind energy research group spearheading the project. “Clipper is an innovative company with expertise reaching back to the origins of the U.S. wind power industry, and they have a company culture that embraces collaborative research. Within the first month, Clipper has become engaged in all aspects of our research efforts and is already making significant contributions to the direction of our program,” said Sotiropoulos.
At a height of 130m (426 feet) from the ground level to blade tip, Clipper’s Liberty 2.5MW-C96 turbine will be erected at the UMore Park site in Rosemount, Minnesota. Clipper’s integration into the consortium will continue over the summer months with several visits by the research team to Clipper headquarters in Carpinteria, California and its manufacturing facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as well as reciprocal visits by Clipper to the UMore Park site and the University of Minnesota. The turbine installation is slated for completion in December 2010.
“Participating in this federally funded wind energy research project is a tremendous opportunity for joint technology development,” said Amir Mikhail, senior vice president of engineering at Clipper Windpower, Inc. “As a member of the consortium’s brain trust, we will be testing new ways to increase wind turbine performance and reliability, in addition to being involved with training the next generation of engineers for the wind power industry.”
The University of Minnesota was one of three institutions across the country to receive a U.S. Department of Energy wind energy research grant. The UofM-led consortium team, including public and private sector partners in research and education, is supported by grant funding. The consortium’s goals are twofold: to create cutting-edge turbine technologies that reduce the cost of wind energy through increased reliability, more durable component parts, and more efficient operations; and to contribute to workforce development and job creation by training graduate and undergraduate students, as well as practicing power-industry professionals across the U.S.
Clipper Windpower, Inc. is engaged in wind energy technology, turbine manufacturing, and wind project development. The company designs advanced wind turbines, manufactures its 2.5 megawatt Liberty wind turbine, and actively develops wind power generating projects in the Americas and Europe. Clipper’s primary offices are in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company’s 330,000 square foot manufacturing and assembly facility for land-based wind turbines is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and its wind turbine development center is located in Blyth, UK.
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