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United States

DoE funds development of larger blades

UNITED STATES: The US government has pledged $1.8 billion to help develop turbine blades longer than 60 metres.

UMaine began testing a 54-metre blade in September
UMaine began testing a 54-metre blade in September

The US Department of Energy (DoE) will make funding available to groups with innovative designs to aid the manufacturing of larger blades. Interested parties may apply for funding through the DoE website.

Last year, the DoE analysed data for potential wind sites and found the new generation of turbines with larger blades could be used at more sites across the US.

The DoE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory found an additional one million square miles that could be used to harness wind power.

The department said the funding would also be focused on the logistics and transportation of the blades. This will help exploit the additional area found by the DoE's analysis.

In January, the DoE also announced $2.5 million in funding for a project designed to improve wind forecasting in the US.

Last September, the University of Maine's advanced structures of composites centre took delivery of a 54-metre blade to perform tests.

UMaine said it was the longest blade the centre has tested to date, and it was only one of two sites in the US that could accommodate a component.

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