Distributed Wind R&D Funding and Turbine Database Update

Funding for Small Wind Turbine Manufacturers View in browser
ENERGY.GOV - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Wind Energy Technologies Office

March 7, 2019

Competitiveness Improvement Project Request for Proposals

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) and is accepting applications for the Competitiveness Improvement Project. The Competitiveness Improvement Project is supported by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office in alignment with the office’s goals to make wind energy cost competitive with other distributed energy resources, improve interoperability with other distributed energy resources, and increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national testing standards. Through the Competitiveness Improvement Project, NREL intends to award cost-shared subcontracts and technical support to:

  1. Develop wind turbine system designs optimized for maximum energy production and grid support in distributed applications
  2. Develop advanced manufacturing processes to reduce hardware costs
  3. Conduct turbine and component testing to national standards to verify system performance and safety.

U.S. Wind Turbine Database Hits Milestone

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB), a continuously updated data portal containing the locations and attributes of all wind turbines across the country, reached 1.4 million page views in its first 11 months! DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office launched the database in April 2018 in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. From the USWTDB website, users can download these data in various formats and view and query the data from the online map viewer. And, as of March 2019, the database can now be pinged using Application Protocol Interface or "API" functionality, meaning users can collect info from and query the database directly. This means the data's broad appeal to a variety of users including government, industry, the general public, and international users will only increase. Launch the viewer.

Join USGS for a webinar on how to use the USWTDB's new API capability and how to bring data into Excel and other applications, Tuesday, March 19, 1–1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Register for the webinar.

In Case You Missed It

2020 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants Announced

DOE has announced the 12 collegiate teams selected to participate in the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition. The selected colleges and universities will compete in multidisciplinary challenges to develop a project plan based on wind energy market and siting considerations, design and build a model wind turbine, and test their turbine against a set of rigorous performance criteria. Students will earn valuable real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.

The 2020 competition will take place at AWEA’s WINDPOWER Conference in Denver, Colorado, on June 1–4, 2020.

WISDEM Success Story

Thousands of variables go into a wind plant and changing a single one can have a widespread effect. Fortunately, the process can be simplified using open-source software developed at NREL with funding from DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office. Called WISDEM®—Wind Plant Integrated Systems Design & Engineering Model—it’s the only full-system design and analysis software available to the wind industry. WISDEM can model a range of factors—including wind inflow, grid integration, operational expenditures, and overall cost of energy—to determine how wind plant operators can best streamline operations, increase energy capture, and generate additional revenue in nearly every facet of wind plant operation.

WISDEM, which was selected as a 2018 R&D 100 Award finalist by R&D Magazine, has been used to demonstrate how research sponsored by DOE translates into enhanced energy output. Future research will validate the entire suite of high- and mid-fidelity computational capabilities that are critical to continued innovation. What does this all add up to? More answers for wind plant operators. WISDEM empowers them to make a technical decision here, an adjustment there, and maybe an investment over there, all with the wisdom that every factor has been considered. Read more in the EERE Success Story.


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