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Selections made

Four companies were selected by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory for its $4.5 million small wind turbine project, marking the first time in some 15 years that the laboratory, operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE), has funded a programme for small wind turbines.

Four companies selected by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for its small wind turbine project will start negotiating awards this month for cost shared contracts with a total estimated value of $4.5 million. The four companies selected are: Windlite Co of San Jose, California, World Power Technologies of Duluth, Minnesota, and long time wind industry members Cannon/Wind Eagle and Bergey Windpower. Their selection was announced on November 27.

NREL's Small Wind Turbine Project represents the first time in some 15 years that the laboratory, operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE), has funded a programme for small wind turbines. Of the various DOE funded small turbine projects in the early 1970s -- when most of the focus was on huge turbine designs by huge aerospace companies -- none has led to a viable commercial product.

NREL's small turbine project is for systems with a maximum power of 40 kW. The companies will design, build and test prototype small turbines to be field tested at NREL's National Wind Technology Centre near Golden, Colorado. Negotiating the final contracts, which will run for about 30 months, will take several months.

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