2021 CWC Focuses on Outreach and Planning for Adaptability and Small Business Grant Topics Announced

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Wind Energy Technologies Office


November 17, 2020

Blue sky, clouds, and wind turbines with the email name: "Catch the Wind"

In This Issue

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


2021 Collegiate Wind Competition To Focus on Outreach and Planning for Adaptability

Male CWC participant presents to the judges.

A new academic year is underway, which means a new class of college students is preparing for the 2021 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC), with winners being announced in June 2021. With the future in mind, the organizers of the CWC have integrated the theme of adaptability into the 2021 challenge, which calls on teams to research, design, and build a turbine for deployment in highly uncertain times, with a large degree of unknown risks and potential delays. The 2021 competition will also feature a new Connection Creation Contest, which requires teams to conduct outreach within the wind industry, their local communities, and local media outlets. By supporting students in developing vital skills for an evolving workforce, the themes of the 2021 competition will further the CWC’s mission to help prepare college students for careers in the wind industry.

EERE Announces New FY21 Topics for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is announcing the release of its FY 2021 SBIR/STTR Phase I topics. Covering the research and development priorities of all EERE’s Technology Offices, wind-specific topics are Technical Solutions to Offshore and Land-Based Wind Siting and Environmental Challenges, and Distributed Wind Technology-Compatible Power Converters for Grid-Connected and Isolated Distributed Energy Systems.

Additionally, EERE’s SBIR/STTR topics continue to promote the transfer of research to advance and create technologies important to its mission through soliciting proposals for Technology Transfer Opportunities. EERE’s FY 2021 topics include a commercialization opportunity for a wind turbine blade design developed by Sandia National Laboratories.

The Topics document is accessible at the DOE SBIR/STTR Program Funding Opportunities Website.

EERE is also pleased to announce the FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 Topics Webinar: Tuesday, November 17 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration information will be posted at https://science.osti.gov/sbir/Funding-Opportunities. This is an opportunity for participants to ask the DOE program managers questions about EERE Topics, questions can be submitted with registration.

The SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is scheduled for release on Monday, December 14, 2020. Once posted, the FOA document will be accessible at the DOE SBIR website.

CWC Alum Pivots Competition Experience to Job in Nuclear Security

Female CWC participant in her graduation cap and gown.

Leadership comes naturally to Jessica Davis, who participated in the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition and graduated from Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in spring 2020. Not only did Davis lead the creation of her team’s siting report for the Project Development contest, but when her campus closed and the CWC moved to a virtual format, Davis also held her team to its timelines, modified her team’s deliverables, and helped bring new members up to speed.

Now, she’s applying the engineering, analysis, and project management experience she developed during the CWC to her new job in nuclear security at the DOE Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As she looks to the future and reflects on her past experience, she hopes to see more young people like herself seize opportunities that will help prepare them for careers in the wind and energy industries.


Virtual Wind Wildlife Research Meeting

Online, December 1–4

The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative’s (NWCC’s) 13th biennial Wind Wildlife Research Meeting provides a forum for wind-wildlife stakeholders—wind energy developers, academics, research biologists, environmental consultants, non-governmental organizations, and officials from local, state, and federal governmental agencies—to share the latest scientific findings related to addressing impacts to wildlife from wind energy. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) provides support for developing the meeting proceedings. Proceedings from previous research meetings are available on the NWCC website.

Visit the event website for information about the schedule and on-demand content and to register for the meeting.

In Case You Missed It

Fall 2020 Wind R&D Newsletter

The Fall 2020 edition of the Wind R&D Newsletter highlights recent WETO-funded research, such as a supercharged suite of physics codes that enables researchers to test wind power plant designs in real time, how supersized wind turbines impact grid-system value, and a new methodology for assessing bearing axial cracking in wind turbine gearboxes. A roundup of news and publications makes it easy for you to keep abreast of the latest in wind R&D.

Subscribe to the newsletter to learn more about WETO and National Laboratory R&D projects, news, accomplishments, and recent publications.

Call for Teams To Compete in the 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition

DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a request for proposals for student teams interested in competing in the Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) in May 2022. The competition challenges students to design, build, and test a model wind turbine and plan and financially analyze a wind power plant. The request for proposals is open for applications through December 8, 2020. Interested students and faculty can learn more about the competition and the application requirements.

Energy Production Predictions Help Reduce Investment Risk

NREL has released an updated version of OpenOA, an open-source software tool designed to help wind plant operators identify and analyze the different factors that drive wind plant performance. In response to user feedback, Open OA Version 2 now features augmented annual energy production calculation and modeling methods that enable more accurate predictions and better operational decisions, thereby reducing investment risk.