Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Announces $998,982 in Federal Funding for UMass Lowell Wind Energy Development Research

LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) announced that the University of Massachusetts Lowell would be receiving $998,982 from the US Department of Energy to conduct testing in support of innovative offshore wind research and development utilizing existing testing facilities. UMass Lowell was one of six institutions selected for this purpose, and one of thirteen projects set to receive funding to advance wind energy nationwide. Their project will develop and validate a novel autonomous method of using measured acoustic pressure to detect degradation and damage in wind turbine blades.

“The need to invest in renewable energy has never been greater. We know the window of opportunity to take meaningful action to cut carbon emissions and put us on the right track toward mitigating a climate disaster is closing fast. We don't have to make the false choice between saving our planet or growing our economy. We can and we will do both, and this grant funding is a perfect example of how. I am proud to all those involved in securing this funding, and applaud UMass Lowell for positioning themselves on the cutting-edge of the next generation of renewable energy production,” said Congresswoman Trahan.

“This prestigious grant is a testament to UMass Lowell’s expertise and success in wind energy research, which includes WindSTAR, the nation’s only NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center on wind energy. Our team will continue to conduct cutting-edge research, develop high-end technology and educate the human resources needed to help solve world’s most challenging problems in renewable energy,” said Julie Chen, UMass Lowell vice chancellor for research and economic development. “This project will enable our team to collaborate with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and industry partners. It will also provide training and professional development for graduate, undergraduate and high-school students through research experience, academic publications and presentation of the results at a range of venues.”

The selected projects span the technology development spectrum—including testing, demonstration, integration, and technical assistance—and cover all three wind energy sectors: distributed, offshore, and land-based utility-scale wind.

While utility-scale, land-based wind energy in the United States has grown exponentially, significant opportunities for cost reductions remain, especially in the technical areas of offshore wind, distributed wind, and tall wind.