MSU Wind Application Center to make wind energy more efficient
Researchers at the Montana State University Wind Application Center want to make wind energy more efficient.
"The big issue is energy storage," said MSU scientist Jeff Heys.
Heys told NBC Montana the work they are doing could put power generated by the wind in everything from cars to computers. He said that would keep energy flowing after the winds have stopped blowing.
"Basically, when the wind stops these fuel cells will provide all electricity to the homes that need the power," explained Heys.
Congressman Steve Daines toured the facility and listened to what researchers found in their data.
"Montana has potential in a lot of areas so we really need to keep a diversified energy portfolio," Daines said.
He says those sources include oil, coal and wind -- but they say the transmission of wind has been difficult.
"It's got to be a balance here. It's one thing to be able to produce the energy. It's another thing to transmit it and make it," explained Daines.
NBC Montana took a tour of the wind laboratories at MSU where researchers told us they manufacture wind blades. The blades are then sold to private companies across Montana.
"The research in this lab is no different. It is already connected to various companies in the Gallatin Valley and in the state of Montana," said Heys.
Researchers say the new technology is about a decade out, but once it hits the market it could change just how much wind energy finds it way into homes.