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On Nov. 23, 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy awarded a $45 million grant – the largest single award in university history and largest single grant by the US DOE for wind power – to Clemson University.  The purpose of the grant was to design, build and operate a facility capable of full-scale, highly accelerated testing of next-generation wind turbine drive-train technology.

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy objectives for the project are to:
  • Accelerate the development and deployment of new wind turbine technology.
  • Reduce the cost of energy delivered that will result in further growth in the market leading to economic development.
  • Support the country’s push towards energy independence.

The $98M facility which includes $53M of private and state contributions is strategically located at the Clemson University Restoration Institute’s (CURI) campus at the former US Naval Base in North Charleston, South Carolina. The location offers a working port facility on the East Coast and worldwide access to wind turbine innovators through road, rail or ship.

The global leaders in wind turbine manufacturing serve on the Industrial Advisory Board with key industry players already requesting time in the facility for testing of their next generation turbines. Modeled after the success of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the facility will forge public/private partnerships in a unique industrial, port environment.

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