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National Wind Technology Center

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), located at the base of the foothills just south of Boulder, Colorado, is the nation's premier wind energy technology research facility. Built in 1993, the center provides an ideal environment for the development of advanced wind energy technologies. The goal of the research conducted at the center is to help industry reduce the cost of energy so that wind can compete with traditional energy sources, providing a clean, renewable alternative for our nation's energy needs.

Research at the NWTC is organized under two main categories, Wind Technology Development and Testing and Operations.

Illustration of the National Wind Technology Center's organization chart.  Fort Felker is listed as the Center Director, with Mike Robinson, Deputy Center Director; Paul Veers, Chief Engineer, and Laura Davis and Dorothy Haldeman beneath him.  The Associate Director position is empty.  Beneath them is the Wind Technology Research and Development Group Manager, Mike Robinson; the Testing and Operations Group Manager, Dave Simms; and the Offshore Wind and Ocean Power Systems Acting Supervisor, Fort Felker.

Technology Development

The goal of the wind turbine research conducted at NREL is to assist U.S. industry in developing cost-effective, high performance wind turbine technology that will compete in global energy markets. To that end, NREL researchers work closely with industry partners to research, design, build, test, and refine advanced wind turbine designs. Industry partners are selected through competitive solicitations and share in the costs of research and development (R&D) projects.

In addition to developing the technologies, NREL's researchers conduct utility grid integration research and work to facilitate the adoption of equitable grid access and operational rules for wind in all major regional wind markets.

Testing and Operations

Testing and operations includes a wide range of testing services and activities that address both the technical and the many nontechnical barriers to the use of wind energy systems. While the NWTC facilities enable researchers and industry partners to conduct a wide range of system, component, and field tests to identify and resolve technical design issues, NREL's WINDExchange team, also based at the NWTC, works with industry stakeholders to remove nontechnical barriers to wind turbine deployment.