Gov. Rick Perry today announced the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) is awarding $2.2 million to the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Wind Energy Center for a collaborative project that brings together researchers from universities across the state to develop and increase the capacity of offshore wind energy technology, and help bring it to market. TAMU is working with the Texas Tech University National Wind Resource Center, a national leader in the wind energy industry, as well as the University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics and Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, TAMU-Corpus Christi Conrad Blucher Institute and University of Texas at Brownsville School of Business and Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.
"Texas has long believed in an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and our world-class universities and culture of innovation have helped foster cutting edge technologies in everything from traditional to new energy sources," Gov. Perry said. "Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, generating more wind power than all but five nations, and this investment will support an important collaboration between our universities and the growth of our offshore wind capabilities."
The TETF award will support the development of new offshore wind farms, turbine and platform technologies in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project. The state's award will be matched with a $50 million award from the DOE, an initial $13.3 million investment from industry members of the GoWind consortium and a $1 million total investment from the participating Texas universities.
Subject to the outcome of environmental and feasibility assessments, a future phase of the project would see a three-turbine, 18 megawatt installment at the GoWind offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Texas is the leader in wind and offshore energy, and this TETF grant will help Texas take its natural leadership position in the nascent offshore wind energy industry," TAMU Wind Energy Center director John Pappas said. "It will lead to significant increases in university capacity, lower cost for wind power and contribute to the birth of a new industry as the United States continues on its path to energy surety."
The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $205 million in funds to 144 early stage companies, and over $221 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. Additionally, since the inception of the TETF, more than $2.2 billion in additional investment from other non-state sources has followed on to the TETF investment, more than quadrupling the amount invested by the TETF.