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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Partnership in Massachusetts and the Lone Star Wind Alliance in Texas to each receive up to $2 million in test equipment to develop large-scale wind blade test facilities intended to accelerate the development of wind energy.

According to the DOE, these consortia have been selected to negotiate cooperative research and development agreements to design, build and operate new facilities to test the next generation of wind turbine blades. Facilities are expected to be operational in 2009.

The consortia will enter agreements with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to build facilities to test large wind blades, with an ultimate goal of testing blades up to 330 ft. (100m) in length. NREL will work with states to provide equipment and technical assistance for development and operation, DOE adds.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Partnership proposes to build a test facility at the Boston Autoport in Boston Harbor. The group includes the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Development, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The Lone Star Wind Alliance, meanwhile, proposes to build a test facility in Ingleside, Texas. The group includes the University of Houston, the Texas General Land Office, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas-Austin, West Texas A&M University, Montana State University, Stanford University, New Mexico State University, Old Dominion University, the Houston Advanced Research Center, BP, DOW, Huntsman and Shell Wind.



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