Thirteen companies have informed the US Department of Energy that they will respond to DOE's solicitation for $1.3 million in partnership funding for small wind turbine manufacturers for up to three years. The deadline for responses was March 30. The cost sharing and technical support is to verify field performance of small wind turbines in distributed applications in various regions of the US. The solicitation is aimed at water pumping, ice making, water purification, and desalination projects and to grid connected applications. DOE will co-ordinate an estimated five to ten partnerships through its office in Golden, Colorado, with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) aimed at refining turbine installation, operation, and performance verification. NREL will also test small turbines independently. "It's going to get small wind into applications where it has had a hard time penetrating," says Mike Bergey of Bergey Windpower, one of the leading companies. In 1996 NREL had initiated a far larger Small Wind Turbine Project. The four companies chosen for the shared sub-contracts, worth a total $4.5 million, were Windlite of San Jose; World Power Technologies of Duluth Minnesota; Bergey Windpower of Norman, Oklahoma; and Cannon/Wind Eagle Corp of Tehachapi, California.
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