The University of Minnesota recently began operating a 1.65 MW Vestas turbine as the first step in a wind-to-hydrogen research project. The turbine, touted as the first large scale wind research instrument at a public university in the US, is expected to supply 5.6 million kWh -- about half the power required by the University of Minnesota-Morris campus. The project is funded by $2 million in grants from state and university sources. Partners in the project include the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources, the Upper Midwest Hydrogen Initiative and member companies, Windustry, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Our goal is to establish systems research to stimulate the renewable energy industry and provide a model for rural communities and agricultural producers to integrate renewable energy systems into their economies," says Greg Cuomo, head of the university's West Central Research and Outreach Center.
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