Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

March 14, 2007

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)

Cullen College of Engineering Plays Prominent Role in Attracting Project to Texas Coast

HOUSTON, March 14, 2007 – The University of Houston-led Lone Star Wind Alliance has been named one of two finalists for the Department of Energy’s new large-scale wind turbine research and development facility.

“We are thrilled that the DOE has included Texas in the final round of competition for the new facility,” said Ray Flumerfelt, dean of the Cullen College of Engineering at UH. “Our proposal, as well as the Lone Star Wind Alliance, itself, will only get stronger as we move forward. I am confident that the new wind facility will be housed along the Texas coast, and we look forward to working with DOE to that end.”

The announcement of the Lone Star Wind Alliance’s selection as a finalist was made by Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, a member of the alliance of universities, government agencies and corporate partners created to prepare the proposal for submission to the federal government.

Massachusetts is the other finalist for the facility.

The commissioner likened the potential impact of the facility to that of NASA in Houston during the space race of the 1960s.

“Anyone building wind turbines will want to be near this facility,” Patterson said. “A Texas facility will be a magnet for research and manufacturing. It will establish us as a worldwide leader in wind power for many years to come.”

In May 2006, the DOE announced it was seeking partners to build a new facility capable of testing blades up to 70 meters long. In addition to Texas’ Lone Star Wind Alliance, groups from Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Virginia submitted applications for the test facility.

“In Texas, we welcome wind power and the money that comes with it,” Patterson said. “I’m confident the DOE will appreciate what we have to offer.”

The international market in wind turbine design and construction has been projected at $80 billion annually.

No other coastal state has greater wind energy potential than Texas. The nation’s cumulative wind power capacity is currently 9,971 megawatts. The booming growth of the wind industry in Texas makes the state a natural fit for the testing of the huge turbine components required for future wind farms.

“Texas has a deep industrial know-how based in our history of oil and gas development,” Patterson said. “Texas has the deepwater ports, strong gulf winds and political will to make our coast the perfect site for the new blade-testing facility.”

The DOE has not announced when the final decision will be made.

The Lone Star Wind Alliance includes the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, the Houston Advanced Research Center, Stanford University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, Old Dominion University, the Texas General Land Office, the State Energy Conservation Office, the Texas Workforce Commission, Gov. Rick Perry and Good Company Associates.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

About the UH Cullen College of Engineering
UH Cullen College of Engineering has produced five U.S. astronauts, ten members of the National Academy of Engineering, and degree programs that have ranked in the top ten nationally. With more than 2,600 students, the college offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, industrial, and mechanical engineering. It also offers specialized programs in aerospace, materials, petroleum engineering and telecommunications

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at