TEES signs agreement with world's largest supplier of wind turbines
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) has entered into a master research agreement with Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's largest supplier of wind turbines. The agreement is the latest step in expanding the TEES program in wind energy research and development, which will help propel Texas toward energy independence. Today, Texas leads the nation in wind power, accounting for 26 percent of the nation's total installed wind capacity or the equivalent of the electricity needed to power more than one million Texas homes. "This partnership with Vestas Wind Systems is timely and truly exciting for our faculty and students," said Dr. Theresa A. Maldonado, TEES deputy director and associate dean for research in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. "We have the expertise and facilities to explore next generation materials, large-blade design, wind turbines, civil infrastructure, electrical systems, and systems engineering for advanced on-shore and off-shore wind energy systems. And with the rapid growth of the wind energy sector, especially in Texas, this research is critical." As part of their strategy to maintain its market position as No. 1 in Modern Energy, Vestas has chosen Houston, a global energy hub, as the location for its new R&D center in the United States. The Houston center is intended to strengthen Vestas' existing R&D network, which includes research centers in Asia and Europe. A primary objective for all research initiatives in Vestas is to increase turbine efficiency and lower the cost of energy. The selection of Houston as home of Vestas' North American R&D center resulted from a national competition in which 36 states applied for this center. TEES and the Research Valley Partnership partnered as one of the applicants from Texas. Representatives of the Danish company visited Texas A&M and TEES in March as part of their final evaluations for site selection. Houston and Austin were also finalists. Although Houston was selected as the site for their center, Vestas chose the A&M System's Engineering Program as one of its major university partners because of its broad range of technical expertise, its unique experimental facilities, and its excellent students. Vestas also signed agreements with the University of Texas and the University of Houston. With the multiyear master research agreement in place, Vestas and TEES researchers will collaborate to develop advanced wind energy technologies. The first round of projects is scheduled to begin in the fall. About TEES TEES is the engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System. TEES researchers conduct quality research and provide practical answers to critical state and national needs. The agency partners with industry, communities and academic institutions to solve problems to help improve the quality of life, promote economic development and enhance the educational systems of Texas. TEES also promote new technology education and investigate problems in health and the environment. About Vestas - No. 1 in Modern Energy With a 23 percent global market share in 2007, Vestas is the world's leading supplier of modern energy solutions. The company has installed more than 35,000 wind turbines in 63 countries, including more than 9,400 wind turbines on American soil.