Deep in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon, an extensive data collection effort is underway. It’s all part of the Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain’s (WFIP 2) effort to improve wind forecasts. From October 2015 through mid-2017, scientists will collect and analyze meteorological data in order to improve wind forecasts in regions of complex terrain, such as mountains, valleys, and river gorges. Our aim is to generate better forecasts that will help make wind power more reliable, efficient, and easier to integrate into the power grid.
A team at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is exploring the capability of wind energy to stabilize the nation's electrical grid when conventional power plants shut down. A 1.5 megawatt wind turbine, connected to a cutting edge grid simulator, is being tested at the National Wind Technology Center.
The Energy Department supported wind turbine innovation with Pika Energy—developing a process that cut the cost of making a small turbine blade from $1,000 to $50—and now features one of the company's turbines in the lobby of the department's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Renewable energy from wind and water had a big year in 2015. As the year comes to a close, we celebrate the milestones of renewable electricity generation in wind and water power with a list of some of our largest accomplishments.
The Biodiversity Research Institute's (BRI) new report on a three year research project gives offshore wind developers new information on environmental impacts, including migration patterns of birds and whales. This will help accelerate progress on responsible, sustainable implementation of offshore wind technologies.
On October 1, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a fourth round of requests for proposals under the Energy Department’s Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) for distributed wind energy. The CIP aims to help U.S. manufacturers of small and mid-size wind turbines (with rotor-swept areas less than 1,000 square meters) to improve their turbine designs and manufacturing processes to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and eventually earn certification ensuring performance and safety.
DOE funding has helped improve worker safety on offshore wind turbines. Industry partners have created a new type of ladder designed to be safer, even in rougher seas, than existing boat-to-turbine crossings.