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Inside the world's largest wind turbine blade testing facility. | Photo Courtesy of Kate Samp (MassCEC)
Chicago may be known as the Windy City, but as of today, Boston is home to the largest commercial wind blade test facility in the world.
After a ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon, the Wind Technology Testing Center at the Boston Autoport in Boston Harbor is open for business.
In order to produce more power from the wind, manufacturers have been creating longer and longer blades, but until today all blades longer than 50 meters had to be shipped to European facilities to be tested.
Now that the Wind Technology Testing Center is up and running, companies can test the next generation of wind blade technology -- up to 90 meters long — right here in the U.S.
When selecting Massachusetts for the Wind Technology Testing Center in 2007, the Department of Energy pledged $2 million for the project. In 2009, the Department awarded Massachusetts an additional $25 million in funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust contributed an additional $13.2 million in grants and loans.
Over the last two years, the project has employed about 300 construction, design and administration workers. Going forward, the facility will attract companies to design, manufacture and test their blades in the United States and strengthen America's place as a global leader in wind power technology.
Growing up in New Hampshire, I always heard that Boston had the best fans in the world. Now I can confirm it.