Ritter flips switch on multi-year wind power study

Governor Ritter flipped the switch on the new Siemens Energy 2.3 megawatt turbine at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory‘s National Wind Technology Center yesterday.

Located just outside of Boulder, the turbine, is the centerpiece a multi-year study looking into the performance and aerodynamics of a new class of large wind turbine. A joint partnership between Siemens and NREL, the project is the largest public-private venture for wind generation in the country.

Ritter at the NREL-Siemens wind project outside Boulder
Ritter at NREL-Siemens wind project outside Boulder

In the initial phase of the program, NREL will contribute $5 million; Siemens has agreed to provide $9 million.

“Today begins a new era of research at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center,” said NREL Director Dan Arvizu in a press release. “With our partners at Siemens Energy, we will embark on a comprehensive R&D program that will pave the way for the even more advanced wind turbines of the future.”

The new turbine is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and will be the largest on the site. The initial three year program will look to test structure and performance, power quality, turbine enhancements, and foundational requirements. Renewable Energy Systems Americas will also use the turbine to test ways to reduce installation costs.

Siemens only recently chose to locate the their research and development center in Boulder. The office is projected to provide 40 engineering jobs and additional positions by 2013.

“Together, with public and private partners like these, we’re making our state a clean-energy research beacon and building a new energy future for Colorado and America,” said Ritter.

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