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DOE-NREL Launch Mid-size Turbine Development Project

October 30, 2009

Since the early 90s, the wind energy industry has experienced substantial growth in both the utility and residential markets. Although some may view this as advancement for wind energy technology as a whole, one market has been left behind: the mid-sized turbine market.

Defined as any wind turbine with a capacity rating of more than 100 kilowatts up to 1 megawatt, the mid-sized turbine market has not experienced the same growth as utility-scale and residential turbine markets because there are only a few models available for purchase.

However, Trudy Forsyth, Distributed Wind Energy Technology Projects lead for the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), believes that there are unique opportunities for growth in the midsize turbine market in the near future.

"Based on a 2008 market assessment by ICF International, there is an estimated market potential of 220 gigawatts for technologically enhanced mid-sized turbines," Forsyth said.

In an attempt to fill this technology gap, DOE and NREL will launch a Midsize Turbine Development Project with a half-day workshop on November 6th from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate collaboration between wind turbine designers and U.S. manufacturers as well as to build awareness of this new project. The project will support the development and commercialization of midsize wind turbines by assisting U.S. manufacturers and wind turbine designers in producing near-term commercial value-engineered midsize turbine prototypes.

Keith Bennett, DOE Distributed Wind Technology Manager, believes the project will be beneficial for everyone involved.

"DOE looks forward to working with U.S. manufacturers and turbine designers to develop a commercial mid-sized turbine for the global market," Bennett said.

The half-day workshop will include panel presentations by turbine designers and U.S. manufacturers and will provide attendees with an opportunity to network and to learn about the anatomy of a midsize turbine and existing and future manufacturing opportunities.

For more information, see NREL's Mid-Size Wind Turbine Research Web page.

Register for the workshop (MS Word 36 KB).

For more information, contact Trudy Forsyth at 303-384-6932.