DOE SBIR Grant Helps Propel Innovative Wind Energy Small Business
March 16, 2011
Wind Tower Systems, a subsidiary of Wasatch Wind, was founded in 2002 to research, develop and commercialize new ways to make lighter, taller, and easier-to-assemble land-based wind turbines. Since then, the Park City, Utah-based small business received early funding from DOE, which catalyzed investment from the California Energy Commission and private sources and ensured that the promise of the company's innovative technology could be realized at commercial scale. As a testament to the importance of DOE's investment in innovative small businesses, Wind Tower Systems' 100-meter "Space Frame Tower" technology was acquired by General Electric Company (GE) in early February.
The innovative design of the taller wind turbine towers offer greater power potential because higher-altitude winds are stronger and these towers can be outfitted with longer blades. The combination of stronger winds and longer blades enable the turbines to capture more energy, improving wind farm developers’ return on investment per unit. With the support of $850,000 in Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from DOE in 2002 and 2003, Wind Tower Systems was able to complete the final engineering design for the 100-meter wind turbine tower that GE now plans to market. See the complete Energyblog post.