This U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program Newsletter provides recent news about the program's R&D projects, its accomplishments, upcoming events, funding opportunities, and recent publications.
Letter from the Wind Program Director
The spring edition of the Wind Program Newsletter comes at quite a busy and exciting time for the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office.
Collectively, the office has just completed two highly successful peer reviews, wherein we had the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions about our programs and projects with a number of experienced representatives from both the wind and the water power industries. More.
In the News
Collegiate Wind Competition Turbines Go Blade-to-Blade in Wind Tunnel Tests at WINDPOWER
Ten small wind turbines will go blade-to-blade in wind tunnel tests at the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition that runs concurrently with the AWEA 2014 WINDPOWER Conference, May 6–7, at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. More.
DOE Wind Program Hosts Booth at WINDPOWER
Stop by DOE's new exhibit in booth number 1653 at the AWEA 2014 WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas to meet Wind Program personnel and learn about the latest DOE-funded research. More.
U.S. Department of Energy Initiates New Outreach Efforts to Address a Changing Wind Industry
DOE recently announced the launch of WINDExchange, a national engagement and outreach initiative that marks a new era of DOE's involvement in wind energy. More.
DOE Names Virginia and Illinois Electric Cooperatives Wind Co-ops of the Year
The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association recognized Old Dominion Electric Cooperative of Virginia and the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative of Illinois with the 2013 Wind Cooperatives of the Year Award at the TechAdvantage 2014 Conference and Expo in Nashville, Tennessee in March. More.
Atmosphere to Electrons Initiative Takes Shape
Since DOE launched its Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) Initiative last July, the A2e executive committee has been developing a comprehensive approach for working with multiple stakeholders (industry, national laboratories, international experts, and universities) over the next 5 to 7 years. In February, they held an external merit review to lay the groundwork for an A2e multi-year strategic research plan. More.
PNNL Reports Distributed Wind Installations Down, Exports Up In 2013
According to the second annual Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications soon to be published by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 842 MW at the end of 2013, reflecting nearly 72,000 units installed. Although only 30.4 MW of new distributed wind capacity was added in 2013, a decline of 83% from 2012, exports from U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers increased 70%. More.
SWiFT Turbines Full Dynamic Characterization Opens Doors for Research in the Dynamics of Coupled Systems
Research conducted at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility (SWiFT) in Lubbock, Texas, drew a lot of interest from attendees at the International Modal Analysis Conference held in Orlando, Florida, last February. According to a presentation given by DOE's Sandia National Laboratories, a large quantity of unique data was collected during the facility's construction and characterization tests. More.
Wind Program Manufacturing Research Advances Processes and Reduces Costs
Knowing that reducing the overall cost of wind energy begins on the factory floor, DOE's Wind Program supports research and development efforts and funding opportunities that integrate new designs, materials, and advanced techniques into the manufacturing process, making wind a more affordable source of renewable energy for communities nationwide. More.
Model Examines Cumulative Impacts of Wind Energy Development on the Greater Sage-Grouse
DOE's Argonne National Laboratory developed a spatially explicit individual-based model for examining the cumulative impacts of wind energy development on populations and habitats of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)—a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. More.
In support of the Administration’s all of the above energy strategy, the Department of Energy issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. When finalized, the solicitation is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to help commercialize technologies that may be unable to obtain full commercial financing. This draft solicitation represents another step in the Department’s commitment to help overcome the financial barriers to the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies.
While all new or significantly improved renewable energy technologies may be considered, advanced grid integration and storage, and retrofitting existing wind turbines are identified as a catalytic area of interest in the 2014 draft solicitation.
DOE announced a $4.5 million funding opportunity titled "Technology Incubator for Wind Energy Innovations." This funding opportunity will fund research and development investments in technology approaches and solutions that are not currently represented in the Wind Program's existing project portfolio. The Technology Incubator for Wind Energy Innovations funding opportunity encompasses applications for any and all ideas that have a significant potential to advance the mission of the Wind Program. While all non-incremental, high-impact ideas are welcome, the program has identified a nonexclusive list of possible topic areas where innovative ideas would have significant potential to enhance wind research goals.
DOE announced a $2.5 million funding opportunity titled "Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain." By researching the physical processes that take place in complex terrain, this funding opportunity will improve foundational weather models by developing short-term wind forecasts for use by industry professionals. This funding opportunity will allow one recipient to study an area of interest with advanced meteorological equipment and work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to design and implement a field campaign that collects data on a variety of physical processes that impact wind forecasts.
See previous versions of the Wind Program R&D Newsletter.