Advanced Outdoor Wind Test Facility Grand Opening


UL and West Texas A&M University announce the opening of large-scale wind turbine test facility in Canyon, Texas

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and West Texas
A&M University (WTAMU) in December announced the grand opening of the Advance Outdoor Wind Test Facility in Canyon, Texas, which will provide services for large, small and micro wind manufacturers as well as research and design testing capabilities.

The facility—one of the largest in the world—is located in the middle of the Great Plains Wind Corridor, with favorable wind conditions year round. Wind turbine manufacturers are able to erect turbines for extended periods of time. The facility opens new testing capacity for turbine manufacturers seeking certification to international standards, helping reduce time-to-market and lower costs, as downtime can essentially be eliminated.

The facility allows UL, with the additional services from their DEWI Group, to collaborate with WTAMU in providing small and large wind turbine manufacturers with a location that offers favorable wind resources. This site is favorable for installing wind turbines for extended periods, for research, performance measurements and certification purposes. Due to these conditions, UL’s turnaround time is highly reduced—allowing product to get to market faster.

“Utilizing the technical expertise from our DEWI Group and the WTAMU staff, turbine manufacturers can install wind turbines for extended periods for research, performance measurements and certification purposes,” said Evelyn Butler, Director of Business Development – Energy and Industrial Solutions at UL LLC. “Large and small wind turbine manufacturers will benefit from the favorable wind conditions and UL’s turnaround time which will reduce time to market.”

“The collaboration is a win-win situation for WTAMU, a pioneer in wind energy research. We  offer several unique resources that made this project feasible – location within the Great Plains Wind Corridor, availability of space, and more than 40 years of experience in wind-energy research,” said Don Topliff, dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering.

“The Advanced Wind Turbine Test Facility will give manufacturers the opportunity to have wind turbines, large and small, tested, and if passing, certified to several different standards at one facility: UL Standards 6141 and 6142 for large and small wind turbines, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)certification, Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) certification, as well as several others,” laboratory director Adam Holman said.