This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 08, 2009

DOE Offers $59 Million in Loan Guarantees for Wind Power, Energy Storage

Photo of a crane lifting a wind turbine assembly, including two blades, onto an erect tower.

The two-bladed design of Nordic's wind turbine allows it to be assembled on the ground and lifted in one piece. Most large wind turbines require the turbine housing, or nacelle, to be installed on the tower separately. Enlarge this photo.
Credit: Nordic Windpower

DOE offered $59 million in conditional loan guarantees on July 2 to Nordic Windpower USA, Inc. and Beacon Power Corporation. Nordic Windpower has been offered $16 million to support the expansion of its assembly plant in Pocatello, Idaho, to produce its 1-megawatt N1000 wind turbine. Beacon Power, an energy storage company, has been offered $43 million to support the construction of a 20-megawatt, flywheel-based energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, that will help ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid.

Nordic Windpower's N1000 wind turbine employs two blades and a patented teeter-hub technology that dampens loads, resulting in a lightweight turbine that is at least 10% less costly to manufacture, install, operate, and maintain than competing systems. The wind turbine blades can flex at the hub, partially dissipating the loads from turbulent winds before they reach the drivetrain. This makes Nordic's turbines more reliable than more rigid designs, while enabling the turbines to achieve structural integrity at a lower cost. The teeter-hub design also makes it possible to deploy two blades, rather than three. This reduces installation cost, because the blades can be attached to the hub and nacelle on the ground and lifted into place with a single crane operation. See the DOE press release and the Nordic Windpower Web site.