UI looking for wind funds

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 09, 2009 7:20 AM

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The Iowa Power Fund Board will consider a UI proposal Tuesday for $15 million in state funding to support a $78 million bid for the world’s first test site for large-scale wind turbines.

A team in the UI College of Engineering created the project — titled the Wind Energy Testing Institute. The turbines would be placed at the Oakdale campus, where researchers would test large turbine drive trains, which are used to convert the energy from turning blades into electricity.

Iowa is currently home to the second-largest installation of wind turbines in the nation, and two major producers of turbines are located in nearby: Clipper Windpower in Cedar Rapids and Acciona Windpower in West Branch.

The UI hopes to attract additional funding from other areas such as the Iowa Department of Economic Development and federal stimulus dollars.

— by Lauren Mills

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