TEES signs MOU with Vestas Wind Systems A/S

October 9, 2009
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), the research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System, and Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s leading supplier of wind power solutions, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a world-class partnership for research in wind energy.

The announcement of the MOU was made during a ceremony Friday (Oct. 9) when members of Vestas’ leadership visited Texas A&M and the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

The MOU is the latest step in expanding the engineering program’s capabilities in wind energy research and development, which will help propel Texas toward energy independence. For the past two years, Texas has been the top wind producer in the United States, with more than 3,953 wind-generated megawatts installed. Texas is also the first state to achieve the milestone of one gigawatt of wind installation in a single year (2007).

"Today we are sealing a world-class partnership for research in wind energy using the Vestas and TEES Partnership Collaboration Plan as our framework," said Dr. Theresa Maldonado, associate dean for strategic initiatives. "As we all know, Texas will experience rapid growth in wind power over the next five years, and we are positioned to support that growth."

TEES and Vestas previously entered into a multiyear master research agreement in June 2008 to collaborate to develop advanced wind energy technologies.

Vestas chose Texas A&M Engineering as one of its major university partners for its new R&D center in the United States, while they selected Houston as their U.S.-based R&D headquarters.

Under the new agreement, TEES will provide academic excellence to Vestas research programs in the wind engineering field as well as make a commitment to provide academic programs that will develop Texas A&M University undergraduates and graduates into wind turbine specialists.

Vestas, meanwhile, will sponsor a director for the Wind Center of Excellence for a minimum of three years, execute internal research projects with Texas A&M staff and facilities and contribute associated funds as applicable, provide steering and technical expertise toward the development of the Wind Center of Excellence and associated curriculum and academic programs, and support TEES in bidding for external funding opportunities.

"We are committed to supporting Vestas through the objectives that are outlined in this agreement," said Maldonado. "We are excited about the new Wind Center of Excellence. We will work aggressively to recruit an excellent director and we are also committed to working with Vestas’ technical staff to develop a new wind energy academic program."

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