The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the investment of nearly $3 million to advance the work of 16 institutions doing wind power research, including several colleges and universities. The recipients will use these funds to further the department’s goal of bolstering the emerging clean-energy sector with cutting-edge, highly trained workers. These awards will advance wind turbine technology research and development, enhance wind technology curricula for university coursework, provide students with educational opportunities for hands-on wind technology research, develop training programs that will build the wind power workforce, and research possible environmental impacts of wind power deployment.
These competitively selected projects, which complement other similar competitive awards made with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding in 2009, will strengthen America’s role as a global leader in wind energy research and will further the development of the nation’s clean-energy workforce.
A total of $1.5 million will be awarded to universities for offshore wind research and development projects and curriculum development. These selections include:
- The University of Delaware will receive $750,000 for research and development of corrosion protection, gearbox reliability, and tower structures in shallow offshore waters.
- The University of Toledo in Ohio will receive $750,000 for modeling and simulation of a two-bladed offshore turbine for use in the Great Lakes.
A total of $525,000 will be awarded to eight universities with approximately $65,000 going to each recipient for curriculum development. These selections include:
- California Institute of Technology
- The George Washington University
- Iowa State University
- Kansas State University
- Northern Arizona University
- Purdue University
- University of North Dakota and Lake Region State College
- University of Massachusetts
Up to $520,000 will be divided between three educational institutions for workforce development projects. These selections include:
- Orion International in Cary, N.C., will receive up to $200,000 to develop curricula for retraining military veterans as wind energy technicians.
- The Rural Learning Center in Howard, S.D., will receive up to $200,000 to produce a distance-based learning course for wind turbine technicians.
- St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa., will receive up to $120,000 to implement a wind energy pilot curriculum as part of an MBA program.
Up to $358,000 will be divided between three educational and environmental institutions to research siting and potential environmental impacts of wind power. These selections include:
- National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pa., will receive $85,000 to study eastern golden eagle migration corridors and habitats in regions with high potential for wind power development.
- Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, will receive $173,000 to study the response of grassland avian species to the construction of a wind farm in the Texas panhandle.
- The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., will receive $100,000 to develop tools to inform decisions about the most suitable locations for land-based and offshore wind development in the Great Lakes region.
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