Grant to Expand Wind Research Capabilities at UMass Lowell

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Craig Gilvarg
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Dec 20, 2012 –

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt today announced a grant of up to $260,000 to help strengthen and grow the research capacity of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Wind Energy Research Group.
The grant includes $115,000 for a graduate student program in conjunction with MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown. The grant also provides $100,000 to support the continued development of an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for which UMass Lowell is seeking funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). If the NSF funds the center, the grant provides an additonal $45,000 for MassCEC’s membership in the center.
“The research center will further strengthen the wind energy research cluster here in Massachusetts by bringing together the university and private developers to reach a common goal,” said Barton McDevitt. “Training the next generation of researchers will accelerate the development of the next generation of high-performance wind energy technologies designed to generate even more clean power from a single turbine.”
"UMass Lowell's expertise in wind blade technology is helping the nation expand its supply of alternative, clean energy sources. Our partnership with the Wind Technology Testing Center and MassCEC will help ensure that Massachusetts is a center for advances in the industry,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We are grateful to the MassCEC for their support of the important research being conducted by UMass Lowell faculty.”
“As our country faces new energy challenges, the need for renewable, domestic sources of energy has become a national priority. Wind power, one of the cleanest renewable fuels, is an important part of solving the energy puzzle,” said U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. “MassCEC is a real asset in helping to make the Commonwealth a leader in clean energy research and development, and the center's partnership with UMass Lowell is a benefit to our entire region. This grant will enable UML to continue expanding into one of our region’s premier innovation, technology and research centers, and lend its remarkable resources to the search for clean energy solutions.”
“This is exciting news for UMass Lowell and for the city of Lowell itself,” said state Rep. Thomas Golden Jr. “UMass Lowell students are extremely fortunate to be able to participate and work in a first-class research facility. MassCEC’s grant will also bring excellent researchers and developers to the Lowell community and the UMass Lowell Campus and provide our students with amazing future career opportunities.  As the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center continues to develop and thrive, I look forward to watching students from our own community excel in the field of clean air technology and become the next innovative researchers.”
“I am encouraged when I see public-private partnerships centered around innovative ideas, like this one,” said state Rep. David Nangle. “Lowell has been historically involved in cutting edge technology.  This and other local projects like it, remind us that Lowell can be a player in the innovation economy of the future.”
“We all have a role to play in promoting clean energy,” said state Sen. Eileen Donoghue. “Securing the funding for expanded research is an important part of this equation. I’m certain that this grant from MassCEC will allow UMass Lowell to continue their leadership in wind energy research.”
More than 50 wind technology companies have expressed interest in joining the research center, which will serve to bring together those in the industry with the students and professors of UMass Lowell. The center will also further strengthen the university’s ability to attract and graduate students in disciplines that support the Commonwealth’s wind energy cluster.
As part of comprehensive statewide policies to further the development and adoption of clean energy, Governor Patrick has set an ambitious, but achievable, goal of having 2,000 megawatts of wind energy installed in Massachusetts by 2020.
The Patrick-Murray administration has focused on growing the state’s clean energy sector as a way to create local jobs and keep more energy dollars here in the Massachusetts economy.