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Department of Energy Issues Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Solicitation

April 21, 2014

New NREL Study Examines Production Tax Credit Implications

April 21, 2014

ACORE Publishes Renewable Energy Outlook Report

April 21, 2014

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Clean Energy Solutions Center Webinar: The State of Play of the Global Wind Industry and a Five-Year Projection

April 28, 2014

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Webinar: The 2014 Farm Bill's Renewable Energy for America Program

May 21, 2014

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Implications of a PTC Extension on U.S. Wind Deployment

April 1, 2014

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New England Wind Forum

About the New England Wind Forum

New England Wind Energy Education Project

Historic Wind Development in New England
First Large Scale Windmill
1970s OPEC Oil Embargo Sparks Renewed Interest
Age of PURPA Spawns the Wind Farm
An Industry in Transition
More New England Wind Farms
Modern Wind Turbines
History Wrap Up

State Activities

Projects in New England

Building Wind Energy in New England




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Historic Wind Development in New England: The 70's OPEC Oil Embargo Sparks Renewed Interest

In 1973, when the United States met 94% of its energy requirements from nonrenewable sources, OPEC's oil embargo had a dramatic impact. Supply disruptions and a four-fold price increase caused an increased interest in renewable (i.e., sun-driven) resources. As one response, the Department of Energy and private companies began to develop the forerunners of today's modern wind turbines.

WF-1 Wind Turbine at University of Massachusetts, 1976. Photo courtesy of the University of Massachusetts.

WF-1 Wind Turbine at University of Massachusetts, 1976. Photo courtesy of the University of Massachusetts.

UMass Wind Furnace WF-1

The mid 1970s saw the design, construction and installation of a 25-kW wind turbine at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. According to the University's Renewable Energy Research Lab, this turbine, known as WF-1, was at the time of its completion the largest existing wind turbine in the United States and for a short time, one of the two or three largest operating turbines in the world. It has now been decommissioned and is currently being prepared for storage and transportation to the Smithsonian Institution.

History content contributors include Harley Lee of Endless Energy, James Manwell of the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Resource Laboratory, and Tom Gray of American Wind Energy Association. Edited by Bob Grace, Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC.

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