Wind Turbine Test Facility to Come to Boston

BSC Group provided site selection and planning services to support Massachusetts’ successful bid to site a new testing facility for the next generation of wind turbine blades in Boston. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have selected the Massport Autoport site in Charlestown as one of two facility locations, the other being in Texas.

The selection of the Boston site marks the end of a competitive process between partnerships in six states – Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia – to secure a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) partnership opportunity with NREL/DOE to site the new facility. DOE/NREL will provide $2 million in capital equipment to each blade test facility in addition to technical assistance. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Partnership includes the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, University of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Development, and the Massachusetts Port Authority. The Boston facility will be equipped to test blades of up to 330 ft (100 m) in length.

BSC provided civil/site engineering, permitting expertise, and graphic rendering services to the Massachusetts team to aid in evaluating two potential sites, and in preparing the final application for the Charlestown site. BSC’s involvement in this project came about through membership in the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development (MAED), which is a private, non-profit partnership of business, industry leaders, and government dedicated to the economic growth of Massachusetts.

The state, which is aggressively positioning Massachusetts to be a leader in renewable energy technologies, views this as a very significant “win” because of the potential future spin-offs from related testing and manufacturing facilities.