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UW Gets Wind Energy Research Grant

Charles Cook via Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $4.2 million grant to the University of Wyoming for wind energy research.

Six different University departments will collaborate on the project.

UW professor Jonathan Naughton is the director of the Wind Energy Research Center and the principal investigator for the grant. He says the goal is to address barriers to rolling out renewable energy in the state—and research will focus on three key aspects.

“Increasing the efficiency of individual wind plants, understand the impact of wind plants and solar and other renewables on grid stability and how we operate the grid, and then the final one is the economics of the transmission and the wind plants or solar plant installations on prices,” Naughton says.

The University is partnering with other academic institutions and government laboratories…as well as local companies—including Power Company of Wyoming, which is developing the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm in Carbon County.

Naughton says the grant is good news for UW.

“This is an area we’ve been working hard to get recognized in and now this is true recognition of our programs,” says Naughton. “But I also think that it’s good for the state in the sense that this is another resource that the state can leverage and I don’t see it as a threat necessarily to our existing economy, but as an additional component that we can build out.”

UW has provided an additional $1 million for the effort. The grant will fund research for the next three years.

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