U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Wind Program

Energy Department Commissions a New Wind Farm Testing Site in Texas

July 17, 2013

Three tall wind turbines in a field with the early dawn sun rising behind them.

DOE along with Sandia National Laboratories and Texas Tech University commissioned the DOE/Sandia Scaled Wind Farm Technology site in Lubbock, Texas, to test multiple wind turbines.
Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Sandia National Laboratories, and Texas Tech University on July 9 commissioned the DOE/Sandia Scaled Wind Farm Technology site at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas. The site is the first of its kind to use multiple wind turbines to measure how wind turbines interact with one another in a wind farm.

Some estimates show that 10%–40% of wind energy production and revenue is lost due to complex wind plant interaction. The new Sandia site allows for rapid, cost-efficient testing and development of transformative wind energy technology, with specific emphasis on improving wind plant performance. The site’s advanced testing and monitoring capabilities will help researchers evaluate how larger wind farms can become more productive.

Researchers have already begun planning the site’s first research projects. The two primary research projects for the next year will be testing and evaluating Sandia’s new National Rotor Testbed Project and collecting baseline data for turbine-turbine interaction that can be used by the international community to improve wind plant performance. The National Rotor Testbed Project will provide a public, open-source complete rotor design that the wind energy community can work on collaboratively to bring the best technology to market as rapidly and cost-efficiently as possible. See the Sandia National Laboratories press release.