Texas Tech Receives Department of Energy Grant for Wind Power Research
June 1, 2010
By: Leslie Cranford
Project will assist site developers in choosing locations based on bird populations.
Texas Tech University is included in a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department
of Energy to advance the work of 16 institutions doing wind power research.
Of the total funds, Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management
was awarded $223,322 over two years to study the response of grassland avian species
to the construction of a wind farm in the Texas panhandle. Matthew Butler, research
assistant professor, and Warren Ballard, professor, are co-principal investigators
on the project.
“Our research will identify important habitat conditions for grassland birds and provide
wind energy developers with needed information for responsible siting decisions,”
Two other institutions divide $358,000 with Texas Tech to research siting and potential
environmental impacts of wind power, including the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and
the University of Michigan.
The $3 million investment will advance wind turbine technology research and development,
enhance wind technology curricula for university coursework, provide students with
educational opportunities for hands-on wind technology research, develop training
programs that will build the wind power workforce and research possible environmental
impacts of wind power deployment.
In the spring of 2009, the DOE dispersed 53 other grants, totaling $8.5 million, of
which Texas Tech received $258,393 over two years to better understand the density
and distribution of lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) leks – male prairie chicken gathering
areas – in potential wind energy development areas. Modeling the relationships among
variables such as habitat components and disturbances like oil and gas development,
transmission lines and wind energy development, provides wildlife managers and wind
energy developers estimates of where LPCs may occur. Texas Tech’s study is ongoing
For more information on the DOE’s work in this area, see the Wind & Water Power Program Web page
CONTACT: Leslie Cranford, senior editor, Texas Tech University,
(806) 742-2136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.