Texas Tech about to have the means to make a huge impact in wind turbine research. Dirt turned on a Reese project will research what happens above ground level. Tech has partnered with the Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, Vestas and Group NIRE on the new Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWIFT) facility.
Three 300 kW turbines will be built on site to determine how best to pattern and place the numerous wind machines that make up a wind farm.
“This is a very monumental moment for us,” said Taylor Eighmy, TTU VP of Research. “It's going to produce a lot of transformational research for the wind energy industry.”
Chancellor Kent Hance said exploring and understanding the full capability of wind turbines is critical to the future of this alternative energy source.
“I think it means for the Texas Tech people is prestige,” Hance said. “We are the top research university anywhere in the world on wind energy. I think as far as economic development, every time we bring in another business to town it brings in employees.”
The facility will eventually expand to ten turbines in the future. A total of 2.7 million houses in Texas are powered by wind energy.