DOE Announces Small Business Innovation Research Awards and National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Funding

NREL releases Tall Wind analysis View in browser
ENERGY.GOV - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Wind Energy Technologies Office

June 13, 2019

EERE Helps American Small Businesses with $21.8 Million for Phase I Innovation Projects

American small businesses got a nearly $22 million boost from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. These small businesses will receive Phase I Release 2 grants that demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations during the first phase of their research.

Two wind energy projects were selected for grants:

  • Carbon Rivers LLC, of Knoxville, TN, will research an innovative, energy-saving process to repurpose waste from end-of-life wind turbine blades
  • Qualtech Systems, Inc., of Rocky Hill, CT, will develop a system that allows operators of offshore wind plants to monitor their turbines and diagnose problems remotely, which will reduce unplanned downtime and support more efficient operations and maintenance.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Request for Proposals (RFP)

Offshore wind turbines

The National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium, established by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), has announced the availability of funding for additional offshore wind R&D topics. The consortium is still accepting applications for offshore wind plant technology advancement R&D funding, which was announced in March 2019. Topics include: 

  • Offshore wind plant technology advancement, which includes optimizing the performance of wind plants; reducing the costs of turbine support structures (e.g., foundations); developing innovative mooring and anchoring technologies for floating wind; and reducing the cost and risk associated with the transmission and distribution of electricity from offshore wind
  • Offshore wind power resource and physical site characterization, which includes comprehensive wind resource assessment and the development of a metocean reference site
  • Installation, operations & maintenance, and supply chain, which includes heavy lift vessel alternatives; offshore wind digitization through advanced analytics; and technology solutions to accelerate the U.S. supply chain.

NREL Releases Tall Wind Report

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report looking at the challenges and opportunities associated with taller wind towers of up to 160 meters. The report finds that increasing tower height to 110 meters from current levels could unlock cost reductions nationwide, and that further tower height increases to 140 meters could help open up markets in low-wind regions such as the southeast.

The report also explores a number of potential opportunities to overcome logistical barriers associated with the transport of tall tower components and reduce costs to enable deployment of turbines at these higher hub heights.

College Students Give Back

Two college students look on as a child shows off a wind turbine design.

The DOE Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) is an incredible learning opportunity for its college-age participants. Students not only get the chance to design, develop, and test their own wind turbines, but they also connect with industry and potential future employers.

As the students look forward to their own futures in the wind and renewable energy industry, many also take the opportunity to look—and give—back. Learn more about how CWC participants support the KidWind Challenge and the young students interested in wind energy each year.

In Case You Missed It

Wind R&D Newsletter

On May 20, DOE released the Spring 2019 edition of its biannual Wind Research and Development (R&D) Newsletter, which provides recent news about the office’s R&D projects, accomplishments, upcoming events, and recent publications.

You can read about the potential of longer blades and taller towers, how the first field trials of wind energy controls demonstrate the possibilities for increased power production and revenue, how WETO-funded research is helping to safeguard bat populations, and more.

If you didn’t get the email on 5/20, subscribe here!

DOE Announces Winners of Collegiate Wind Competition Technical Challenge

DOE’s Collegiate Wind Competition aims to prepare college and university students from multiple disciplines to enter the wind energy workforce by providing real-world technology experience. The competition challenges participants with tasks including business plan development, wind plant siting, and wind turbine design, building, and testing.

Twelve collegiate teams gathered at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Flatirons Campus in May to compete in the Collegiate Wind Competition Technical Challenge. Click here to see who won!

2018 Distributed Wind Market Report Overview

DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is preparing the 2018 Distributed Wind Market Report for release this summer. This report details market research, data, and analysis to help the industry and policymakers understand distributed wind issues in the United States.

An overview of the full report is available now. It highlights the increasing domination of large turbines for wind capacity; the foreseeable growth of small wind deployment; distributed wind’s contribution to hybrid energy systems; and the growing capacity size of turbines used in distributed applications. When released, the full report will be available at


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