Environmental Protection

NIRE and TTU have won grants to help solve issues blowing toward the turbine industry.

Texas Technology Fund Drives Wind Energy Research

The National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE) and Texas Tech University have won grants from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to help solve key scientific and technology issues facing the wind power industry. Texas Tech and its wind research organizations will receive $6.4 million of the award, while NIRE will receive $2 million.

NIRE is a non-profit, public/private collaborator and partner of The Wind Alliance that will use the funding to design, construct and operate research wind farms and sell the power generated in the commercial marketplace to fund a non-profit research center. The Texas Tech University System, the Innovate Texas Foundation, and The Wind Alliance, formed NIRE in June. The institute will provide services to industry partners and offer an industry consortium, which will be managed by The Wind Alliance.

Two significant private-sector partners of NIRE include Vestas Wind Systems, a leader in the wind sector with more than 40,000 turbines deployed worldwide, and Alstom Power Inc., a global leader in power generation. “We are excited to see our industry and academic members (Vestas, Alstom and Texas Tech University) working together to create jobs and discover next generation technology that will radically impact and accelerate the U.S. wind industry,” said Claire Henkhaus, associate director of The Wind Alliance. “This is a real world example of our mission.”

The Wind Alliance is an established collection of industrial, academic and public-sector entities that collaboratively focus on continuous pre-competitive improvement of workforce, infrastructure and technology within the U.S. wind industry. Headquartered in Houston, the alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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