Wind Plant Performance, “Hybrid” Power Plants, and Wind Energy Revenues for School Districts

Bookmark and Share

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Wind Energy Technologies Office


May 14, 2020

New Study Finds Wind Plant Performance Changes Only Slightly with Age

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has published a new study that presents the first comprehensive evaluation of how the performance of wind plants in the United States changes as they age. Understanding the rate at which performance declines is important for estimating wind plant financial viability and for validating long-term models of the wind sector. Furthermore, this rate is often not accounted for by investors, energy modelers, or policymakers. The study shows that U.S. wind plants maintain high performance over long periods of time and exhibit relatively low performance decline (87% of peak performance after 17 years). Newer plants (built in 2008 or later) show almost no decline over the first 10 years of their lifetime. The study authors will summarize key findings via a free webinar on May 20.

DOE-Funded Environmental Project Receives Recognition from Fast Company

In April 2020, the business and technology magazine Fast Company gave honorable mention in 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards to NRG Systems for development of an ultrasonic acoustic system to discourage bats from flying near wind power plants. Between 2009 and 2019, DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) invested over $1.2 million, through three competitively-selected awards, to support the initial development, validation, field testing, and optimization of NRG’s ultrasonic acoustic bat deterrent device. In addition to the recognition by Fast Company, NRG is also working with leading wind turbine supplier Vestas to provide the deterrent systems for Vestas’s fleet of turbines.

Offshore Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation Webinar Series

2nd Webinar: Monday, May 18, 2020, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. ET

On April 20, 2020, WETO presented the first in a series of webinars to discuss offshore wind turbine radar interference mitigation strategies and research needs for offshore wind development that may impact sensitive radar systems. The webinar was hosted by the Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation (WTRIM) Working Group—a consortium of federal agencies comprising DOE, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The webinar series is intended to build relationships between key industry stakeholders and agencies around offshore wind-radar issues, share government and industry perspectives on potential impacts of offshore wind on radar missions, and gain a better understanding of the future direction of the offshore wind market.

During the first webinar, DOE and DOD provided an introduction to the WTRIM Working Group, and offshore wind developer Ørsted shared their experiences with offshore wind-radar interference issues in the United Kingdom and European Union. View the first webinar.

The second webinar, which will take place on May 18, will feature a discussion on the offshore wind project review and approval process in the United States from the WTRIM perspective. Invited speakers include representatives from the DOD Siting Clearinghouse, BOEM, U.S. Coast Guard, DHS, NOAA, and industry. 

Register for the webinar.

How Does Wind Project Performance Change with Age in the United States?

Webinar: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 2 p.m.–3 p.m. ET

To accurately predict lifetime energy output for wind plants, one must account for performance changes over time. A number of studies have investigated the lifetime performance of wind plants in several European countries, showing measurable declines in performance as plants age. However, the results vary by country and involve differing vintages of plants. This research is the first to quantify performance with age across the U.S. wind fleet, and is based on analyzing the generation records and wind resources of over 900 wind projects. On average, the U.S. fleet saw performance declines that were similar to those found in Europe. However, a key finding was that newer plants (those less than 10 years of age) show significantly less performance decline compared to the performance of older plants during their first 10 years of operation.

Register for the webinar.

Hybrid Projects - Advantages and Future Implications

Webinar: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 2 p.m.–3:30 p.m. ET

As battery prices continue to fall and the penetration of variable wind and solar generation rises, power plant developers are increasingly combining wind and solar projects with on-site batteries, creating “hybrid” power plants. Researchers from LBNL will present on the opportunities and challenges associated with hybrid resources.

Register on the American Wind Energy Association’s website.

Wind Energy, School Budgets, and Classroom Outcomes: Empirical Evidence on How They Interact

Webinar: Thursday, May 21, 2020, 2 p.m.–2:30 p.m. ET

Over 600 school districts in the United States have utility-scale turbines installed in their communities, and many of those installations provide tax revenue that is directed to the district. This tax revenue can be used for a variety of expenses including capital projects and current expenses, and it is estimated that new wind projects will provide $8 billion in annual tax revenues for local school jurisdictions between 2017 and 2020. LBNL will present the first national analysis examining if historical wind development’s tax payments have flowed to schools, been used for various expenditures, resulted in changes to the teacher-student ratios, and tied to changes in student achievement.

Register on the American Wind Energy Association’s website.

Boosting the Value of Wind and Solar in Wholesale Power Markets

Webinar: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 2 p.m.–2:30 p.m. ET

As wind and solar deployment grows, wholesale power prices will adjust over time and space in response to these variable, low-cost electricity sources. These pricing changes can impact the market value of wind and solar in wholesale energy and capacity markets, with a general expectation that value will decline as renewable penetrations increase. This webinar will summarize research by LBNL regarding the wholesale market value of wind and solar, including how it is impacted by hybridization of wind and solar with storage, larger wind turbines, participation in ancillary services markets, and power plant siting in locations with relatively higher wholesale prices.

Register on the American Wind Energy Association’s website.

International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind

Online: June 11–August 20, 2020

On May 4, the Business Network for Offshore Wind announced that the  International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind will be held online August 18–20, to be preceded by a biweekly Livestream webinar series beginning Thursday, June 11. Planned presentation topics from DOE’s National Laboratories include emerging technologies for offshore wind resource characterization, floating technology innovations, large-turbine trends, environmental effects in offshore environments, and workforce development.

AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference 2020

Graduate Hotel | Minneapolis, MN
Conference: September 30–October 1, 2020

WETO plans to exhibit alongside DOE National Laboratories at the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference, September 20–October 1, 2020. If you’re at the conference, stop by the DOE booth to learn about DOE-funded R&D to better understand and mitigate wind’s impacts on wildlife and air traffic, weather, and defense radars. DOE will also share community siting resources and information and demonstrate a range of tools.

Register on the American Wind Energy Association’s website.