Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Last week, I was proud to join Governor Patrick, federal and state officials, and nearly 100 members of the US wind energy industry to celebrate the official ribbon cutting of the Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC). The WTTC, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and the U.S. Department of Energy, is the first facility in the nation capable of testing large-scale wind turbine blades up to 90 meters in length.
This critical component in the wind energy industry will speed deployment of the next generation of wind blades into the marketplace, attract companies to design, manufacture and test their blades in the United States, and catalyze growth in the American wind turbine supply chain. The WTTC has already attracted new companies to Massachusetts, creating jobs in the Commonwealth. In fall 2009, global wind blade manufacturer TPI Composites opened a wind blade research, development, and prototype manufacturing facility in Fall River, and is currently building prototype wind blades.
Wind turbines are significant investments with a product lifetime which can exceed 20 years. By simulating the stress a turbine blade will experience over the course of its lifetime in a matter of months, manufacturers can use data from the WTTC to design higher quality products. The Center will provide standardized, independent testing for potential purchasers of wind turbines who can use the information to evaluate units for purchase.
This ribbon-cutting is the latest in a string of successes in Governor Patrick’s vision of Massachusetts as the world leader in clean energy. The launch of the WTTC and the announcement last October of the redevelopment of the port of New Bedford to accommodate offshore wind operations along the Atlantic Coast continues to establish the infrastructure of this clean energy cluster, further positioning Massachusetts to reap tremendous economic benefits from a rapidly growing sector.