By Houston Business Journal

Houston-based ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) awarded its 2011 Energy Prize to Altaeros Energies for its aerospace technology that lifts wind turbines to operate at higher heights.

ConocoPhillips Energy Prize â¿¿ a joint initiative with Penn State University â¿¿ awards up to $300,000 and is now in its fourth year. The award recognizes new ideas and original solutions that can help improve the way the U.S. develops and uses energy.

Massachusetts-based Altaeros Energiesâ¿¿ turbines can remain in the air for up to three months without replacing helium. Currently, they are being used for remote uses such as military applications â¿¿ but eventually they will form the basis of offshore, deepwater wind farms floating above the water.

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