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Wind Program R&D Newsletter

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

New Wind Vision Report Forecasts Clean Energy Future

Photo of man with short-cropped black hair wearing gray pin-striped suite, blue shirt and tie.

This edition of the Wind Program Newsletter highlights some of the recent research and development that is helping drive utility-scale technology advancements, the growth of domestic manufacturing, and the level of wind deployment seen in recent years. The Wind Program’s recently released Wind Vision Report projects an extraordinarily clean energy future in America. More

DOE IN THE NEWS

Wind Program to Host Booth at WINDPOWER

Stop by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Program exhibit booth #3801 to meet Wind Program personnel and learn about the latest DOE-funded research. More

New Wind Technology Resource Center Launched

DOE recently launched a new, user-friendly online information resources portal that provides a central repository for research reports, publications, data sets, and online tools developed by DOE’s national laboratories and facilities. These information resources detail wind-energy-related analyses, studies, technology design, tests, and field experiments conducted by the labs from 1980 to the present. More

Twelve Collegiate Teams Gear Up to Compete at WINDPOWER 2016

DOE’s second Collegiate Wind Competition will take place at the annual American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana, from May 23 to 26, 2016. More

Wind Career Map Connects Skill Sets with Jobs

To meet the wind deployment goals described in DOE’s new Wind Vision Report, the United States will require an expanded and highly qualified workforce; however, a 2013 national study showed that many employers experience difficulty in recruiting qualified applicants. At the same time, few resources exist on wind energy career requirements. The new Wind Career Map developed by DOE connects the skill sets needed to qualify for the many types of wind energy jobs generated by the wind industry. More

Funding Opportunities

RFI – Research and Development Needs for Wind Systems Utilizing Controllable Grid Simulators and Full-Scale Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing

The purpose of this request for information (RFI) is to solicit feedback from industry, utilities (investor-owned, municipal, and electric cooperative), academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to the use of controllable grid simulators to perform full-scale wind-grid system research, development, and testing. Such efforts could include the application of power hardware-in-the-loop testing capabilities to the wind technology market and the associated grid integration impacts. The deadline for responses to this RFI is May 27, 2015. More

FOA – U.S. Wind Manufacturing: Larger Blades to Access Greater Wind Resources and Lower Costs

This funding opportunity supports research and development partnerships leading to innovative designs and processes for the manufacturing and assembly of wind turbine blades to facilitate deployment of the next generation of multimegawatt wind turbines. Supported projects will develop cost-competitive integrated solutions that address the challenges of fabricating, transporting overland, and assembling rotor blades longer than 60 meters, with design concepts scalable to greater lengths, and installing them at wind turbine hub heights of at least 120 meters. The deadline for proposals is June 4, 2015. More

CURRENT R&D

New Report Shows Downward Trend in LCOE for Wind

A new report recently published by DOE shows a downward trend in levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for both land-based and offshore wind projects since 2010. More

New Model Demonstrates Offshore Wind Industry’s Job Growth Potential

A new modeling tool developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that offshore wind development in areas like the Gulf Coast, could support 14,500 full-time jobs during construction and up to 650 long-term jobs.  More

DOE Launches High-Tech Research Buoys to Advance U.S. Offshore Wind Development

DOE is exploring the immense potential for offshore wind energy development off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts using high-tech research buoys operated by its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. More

DOE Taking Wind Forecasting to New Heights

A DOE study demonstrates that wind power forecasts can be improved substantially using data collected from tall towers, remote sensors, and other devices, and incorporated into improved forecasting models in near real time. More

NREL Readies New Wind Turbine Drivetrain for Commercialization

NREL completed the assembly of and began testing a new drivetrain design that can increase reliability, improve efficiency, and reduce the cost of wind energy tremendously. Upon the successful completion of testing, technology readiness levels will be advanced and combined with a commercialization plan that will lead to global deployment of the drivetrain technologies. More

New Report Says Western Grid Can Weather Disturbances with High Wind, Solar Penetrations

A new report finds that with high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid, together with good system planning, sound engineering practices, and commercially available technologies, the Western Interconnection can withstand the crucial first minute after large grid disturbances. More

National Rotor Testbed Targets Future Wind Plant Research Needs

DOE’s Atmosphere to Electrons initiative has identified the evolution of wakes in turbulent inflow as a key physical process affecting power production and turbine loads in wind farms. DOE and Sandia National Laboratories’ (SNL’s) Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility in Lubbock, Texas, and its new National Rotor Testbed is ideally suited for the experiments required to gain a better understanding of the process. More

SNL Wake Imaging System Solves Wind Turbine Wake Formation Mysteries

Although wind energy researchers cannot see the airflow around wind turbines, they know that wakes shed from upstream wind turbines lead to reduced power production and increased loading on downstream turbines, driving up the cost of energy. To gain a better understanding of wind turbine wakes, researchers at SNL are developing the SNL Wake Imaging System to provide detailed wake velocity data in the field. More

LLNL Predicts Wind Power with Greater Accuracy

Reducing the uncertainty of wind power forecasts, upon which wind farm operators and power grid operators depend, is the goal of a team of researchers at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who combine fieldwork, advanced simulations, and statistical analysis in their efforts. More

SNL Researchers Assess Wind Turbine Blade Inspection and Repair Methods

Flaws in wind turbine blades emanating from the manufacturing process are an important factor in blade reliability. To reduce uncertainty in the blade manufacturing process and improve their design and performance, SNL is working with industry to evaluate nondestructive inspection technologies. More

Wind Concurrent Cooling Could Increase Power Transmission Potential by as Much as 40%

Researchers at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory are working with industry to model wind’s cooling effects on power transmission lines to dynamically couple transmission systems with concurrent cooling processes. More

U.S. Leads International Collaborative to Address Wind Energy Development/Wildlife Challenges

DOE is leading a new International Energy Agency Wind Task to address concerns about the environmental effects of wind energy technology. More

Past Issues

See previous versions of the Wind Program Newsletter.

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