The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $95.45 million in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) funds for the Wind Program to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate the deployment of wind power technologies. For FY17, the Wind Program's budget request is $156 million. Priority activity areas supported by the FY16 budget and featured in DOE’s FY17 Congressional Budget Request include:
Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium: A competitive solicitation will be issued to establish a joint industry project to focus on technical challenges of special significance to the U.S. offshore wind industry. Research areas will address cost reduction for deep-water floating foundations and moorings, new approaches to installation that are compliant with existing maritime law, design standard development for the extreme marine conditions unique to U.S. waters, and other key industry research priorities for cost reduction. The project will also include technologies to address turbine-to-turbine wake interaction and enhanced reliability, thereby reducing operation and maintenance costs for offshore wind farms by requiring less frequent scheduled maintenance.
Offshore Wind Development and Deployment: For the sixth year, the Wind Program will fund a program previously competed through the FY12 Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Funding Opportunity Announcement. The program supports the establishment of a competitive U.S. offshore wind industry through offshore system development and demonstration. These projects are currently active.
Wind Plant Optimization Research and Development: In FY17, through its Atmosphere to Electrons initiative, the program will fund research and development to improve the performance and reliability of next-generation “smart wind” plants by investigating systems-level interactions influenced by atmospheric conditions, variable terrain, and machine-to-machine wake interactions. The program will conduct field experiments to validate the performance improvements from innovative wake controls in realistic atmospheric operating conditions.
Manufacturing Competitiveness: The Wind Program will issue a “Tall Wind” competitive solicitation for the development of turbine hub heights of 140 meters or greater, enabling access to higher altitude wind resources. Solicitation topic areas include turbine components—such as blades and towers—to support the design, manufacture, and demonstration of full-scale technologies that mitigate U.S. transportation and logistics constraints.
Siting and Environment: To help enable effective co-existence of wind energy and wildlife, a competitive solicitation will be issued to develop or improve eagle risk assessment, compensatory mitigation tools, and curtailment approaches for significant reductions in bat mortality. These efforts will complement and build upon projects funded over the past two years to provide a robust set of tools for assessing, minimizing, and compensating for impacts of wind energy development on wildlife.
Grid Integration: As part of the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative, the Wind Program will focus its efforts in each of the six technical areas detailed in the Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan.
Devices and Integrated System Testing: The program will work on the integration of distributed wind technologies, power electronics, device controls enhancing system stability, and hybrid energy-storage systems.
- Sensing and Measurement: The program will focus on the development of new wind forecasting tools.
- System Operations, Control, and Power Flow: The Wind Program will work on developing control algorithms to manage congestion and provide system support to the grid.
- Institutional Support: The Wind Program will work in partnership with utilities and regulators to provide information on the deployment of wind.
- Design and Planning Tools: This technical area will develop tools and planning studies that help utilities and other stakeholders understand the impact of wind technologies on the system.
- Demonstration Projects: The Wind Program will support broader demonstration projects that will co-optimize across multiple grid attributes including affordability, security, resilience, reliability, and integration of clean technologies.
For information on the Wind Program's $156 million FY17 budget request, please see the Department of Energy's FY17 budget request to Congress.
This chart illustrates the budget for Wind Program activities in previous fiscal years.