American Wind Week: DOE Releases Wind Cybersecurity Roadmap, OSW Consortium Releases RFP

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Wind Energy Technologies Office


August 10, 2020

Catch the Wind: August 2020

In This Issue

Continue to follow the Wind Energy Technologies Office for the latest news, events, and updates.

Happy American Wind Week!

An American flag and a wind turbine against a blue sky.

This week we observe the fourth annual American Wind Week, a nationwide celebration of America’s accomplishments in advancing wind energy and recognizing the benefits wind brings to our communities. Take a look back at the biggest wind R&D accomplishments of 2020 so far—like collaborations across National Labs to enhance wind plant cybersecurity and the successful completion of the first-ever virtual Collegiate Wind Competition.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ENERGY and @eeregov), Facebook (@energygov and @eeregov), and LinkedIn (eeregov) to stay up to date on all the ways the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) is supporting the growth of wind energy in our country.


Wind Cybersecurity Roadmap Released

The Roadmap for Wind Cybersecurity outlines the increasing challenges of cyber threats to the wind industry and its technologies and control systems, and presents a framework of activities and best practices that the wind industry can use to improve its cybersecurity.

The Roadmap was funded by WETO, with contributions from authors at DOE’s National Laboratories. It is intended to:

  • Raise wind industry awareness of increasing cyberthreats and vulnerabilities to wind technologies and integrated control systems
  • Lay out a time-phased framework for addressing such weaknesses in the near, mid, and long term
  • Illuminate best practices that apply to the wind industry
  • Identify research needs, gaps, and opportunities that might advance technology and strengthen protections
  • Inform future R&D investments in this area.

Although specific to wind, the Roadmap’s strategies are likely applicable to other forms of energy and industrial control systems. Read the Roadmap.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Issues Second Request for Proposals

On August 4, the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium issued its second Request for Proposals (RFP) for additional industry-prioritized offshore wind (OSW) R&D topics. The solicitation has three rounds:

  • Round 1: Enabling Large-Scale Wind Turbines (applications due September 21)
  • Round 2: Support Structure Innovation; Supply Chain Development (applications due October 5)
  • Round 3: Electrical Systems and Innovation; Mitigation of Use Conflicts (applications due October 19).

For more information, including the challenge areas within these rounds, see the solicitation.

The Consortium was initially established in 2018 by DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to fund high-impact research projects that lower the costs of U.S. offshore wind and support supply chain development. State agencies in Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts have since contributed funding to the Consortium, resulting in a total investment of around $46 million. The Consortium’s first RFP resulted in 20 awards totaling $17.3 million.

New England Aqua Ventus Offshore Wind Demonstration Project Announces New Partners

On August 5, the University of Maine announced that Diamond Offshore Wind and RWE Renewables joined New England Aqua Ventus to lead the development, construction, and operations of the offshore wind demonstration project planned for deployment off the coast of Monhegan Island, Maine. Diamond Offshore Wind is a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation, and RWE Renewables is the 2nd-largest owner of offshore wind plants in the world. Both companies bring global expertise in offshore wind project development and construction and are supporting the demonstration of the project’s floating concrete foundation, which was designed by the University of Maine with funding support from DOE. Read the University of Maine press release.

Collaboration is Key for Washington State University Everett Wind Energy Team

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) helps prepare the next generation to join the wind energy workforce through collaborative, hands-on, real-world experience with wind energy technology.

For the Washington State University-Everett (WSU Everett) Wind Energy Team, first-time CWC competitors in 2020, this type of experience is built into their college experience. That’s thanks to WSU Everett’s unique partnership with Everett Community College. This partnership carried over into the WSU Everett Wind Energy Team, which included students from both schools. The team exemplified this spirit of collaboration, partnership, and hands-on experience as they prepared for the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.

CWC Experience Lands Former Competitor Renewable Energy Job

DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) created the Collegiate Wind Competition to provide the real-world technology experience that helps college students enter the wind energy workforce. That’s exactly what happened for Colton Sorrells of James Madison University’s CWC Team, which took home first place in this year’s Project Development contest.

While working on their project, Sorrells’ team had conversations with Scout Clean Energy, a renewable energy development company based in Boulder, Colorado, to gain insight into the wind industry. Shortly after his team gave its final presentation, Sorrells received and accepted a job offer from Scout Clean Energy as an associate project manager—an offer he said was “directly correlated” with his work in the competition.

With this success story, Sorrells joins other CWC alumni who credit their CWC experience with helping them land jobs in the wind and renewable energy industry.

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Webinars & Events

International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind

August 1820, 2020

The Business Network for Offshore Wind's International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind will be held online August 18–20. Presentation, poster, and on-demand topics from DOE and its National Laboratories include emerging technologies for offshore wind resource characterization, environmental effects in offshore environments, and workforce development.

Preliminary Results of Research on Wind Operational Impact Minimization Technologies: DOE-Funded Technology Development & Innovation Projects

Online: Thursday, August 20, 1–2:30 p.m. ET

In this webinar, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers will present preliminary results of two projects examining early-stage technologies aimed at minimizing the potential impacts of wind turbines on wildlife. The presenters will discuss findings from field research conducted at NREL’s Flatirons Campus under NREL’s Technology Development and Innovation program, which is funded by DOE and supported on site by NREL staff. Topics and presenters will be:

  • Refining a Selectively Perceptible Wind Turbine System for Preventing Bat Fatalities, Paul Cryan, USGS – Explores whether illuminating a turbine with dim ultraviolet light will prevent bats from approaching and being struck by moving blades.
  • Managing Bird and Bat Turbine Strikes Using Weather Radar, Robb Diehl, USGS – Considers leveraging the existing U.S. weather radar network, known as Next-Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), to provide wind power plant operators with additional information that could be used to manage wind turbines in ways that reduce impacts to wildlife.

Register for the webinar.

AWEA Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Conference 2020

September 29–30, 2020

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Conference focuses on power production from wind plants. Meteorologists and engineers will highlight recent advances, discuss the critical issues affecting wind resource assessment, and provide insights into the key matters by which the industry makes energy predictions. All fall AWEA conferences will feature a virtual attendance option.

AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference 2020

September 30–October 1, 2020

WETO and National Laboratory researchers plan to participate in the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference. This online conference lends itself to showcase DOE-funded R&D to better understand and mitigate wind’s impacts on wildlife and air traffic, weather and defense radars, and community siting.

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In Case You Missed It

Sweeping Changes to Animation Broaden Understanding of Wind Power

Renovations to the popular How a Wind Turbine Works animation improve public understanding of how wind power works. The animation now includes several new features, such as an offshore direct-drive wind turbine view and revised explanations about how major parts of a wind turbine work to convert wind energy into electricity using simple, straightforward language.

The new animation will continue to receive periodic updates, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back.

Illustration of a wind turbine.

DOE Publishes 100-Meter Northeast Wind Resource Maps

The ability to assess and characterize available wind resources is critical to the development, siting, and operation of a wind plant. DOE’s WETO, which supports efforts to accurately define, measure, and forecast the nation's land-based and offshore wind resources, recently announced the first release in a series of new and improved regional wind resource maps. This release features the Northeast region of the United States; regions covering all 50 states will be added as they become available. These maps provide a comprehensive picture of the wind speed at 100 meters above surface level for policymakers, communities, and other stakeholders to better understand the wind resource potential in the Northeast. The availability of maps covering both land-based and offshore wind resources will enable better understanding of the wind power potential in their region.

The maps were developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using modeled wind resource estimates developed by NREL via the Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit and are intended for general educational purposes only. While these maps can provide a general indication of good or poor wind resources, they do not provide a resolution high enough to identify local site features such as complex terrain, ground cover, and data needed prior to siting a wind project.

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