As the United States continues to look for alternative energy sources, research and development facilities have been sprouting up all over the country. The Department of Energy has invested in several facilities, working to learn more about driving down costs of renewables, integration into the grid and feasibility of different types of energy.
Now with the Department of Energy releasing three reports on the wind market, wind power is here not only to stay, but to progress and grow, supporting and causing a need for more infrastructure and jobs.
Wind technology testing facilites are featured in this gallery that we first ran in 2013, and they are grand. Gigantic turbines and drivetrains combined with computer systems and simulators make up these centers. Two facilities featured here include the Clemson University Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility in South Carolina and a National Renewable Energy Laboratory dynamometer at the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. The two test facilities are used to evaluate in a controlled environment the mechanical systems that convert the aerodynamic forces of wind turbine blades into electricity from a generator. Funded in part by the Energy Department (DOE) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the new facilities will help accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation technologies for both offshore and land-based wind energy systems.