DOE Announces Schools to Compete in Collegiate Wind Competition 2022, and New Distributed Wind Simulation Tool

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Wind Energy Technologies Office


February 18, 2021

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In This Issue

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


2022 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants Announced

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the 11 teams selected to participate in the 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition, scheduled to take place May 16–19, 2022, at the CLEANPOWER Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas.

The Collegiate Wind Competition challenges multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate students to develop a wind project plan based on market and siting considerations; raise awareness of wind energy in their local communities; and design, build, and test a model wind turbine against a set of rigorous performance criteria. Participants will integrate academic coursework with hands-on learning, gain valuable wind energy experience, and connect with today’s industry leaders while preparing to enter the wind workforce.

New Distributed Wind Simulation Tool Accelerates Research from Lab to Field

Researchers at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories are looking at ways to effectively and affordably power homes and businesses using wind energy generated and distributed close to customers through a suite of distributed wind R&D projects, including the DOE-funded Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (MIRACL) project. To accelerate research from the lab to the field, two teams at Sandia are working with a custom-built distributed wind turbine emulator that combines advanced technologies with state-of-the-art simulation software to study how real wind turbines operate in a variety of power systems designs. These simulations allow researchers to see how wind turbines operate in different weather conditions and with different energy scenarios on distributed power systems, at less cost and risk than conducting such studies at an operating wind plant. For more information on this capability, please contact Brian Naughton (

Flexing the Limits of Land-Based Wind Turbine Rotor Growth

Funded by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, the Big Adaptive Rotor project works to enable the next generation of land-based wind turbines with rotors that stretch 206 meters in diameter. Large rotor diameters can increase capacity factors by 10% or more over a typical land-based turbine. While wind turbines with large rotors have advantages, lending truth to the adage that “bigger is better,” the length and width of their blades create transportation challenges.

Learn more about how national laboratory researchers are working to overcome this logistical challenge.

In Case You Missed It

Distributed Wind Research Program Workshop Report Released

DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) Distributed Wind Research Program hosted a virtual workshop over the course of three days in August and September of 2020. The goal of the workshop was to bring together laboratory and industry project stakeholders to promote collaboration across the program and to identify future research challenges and opportunities for distributed wind. The workshop report provides reference material for both current and potential future WETO-funded distributed wind research projects on key research topics, which topics would benefit from collaboration and coordination, and potential modes of collaboration.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Announces Five New Awards

On January 26, the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium announced the competitive selection of five new research projects, bringing the total number of awards to date to 25, representing an investment of $20 million. These awards were made under the first of three rounds announced for this year’s solicitation. This round focused on Enabling Large-Scale Turbines and covers the following three areas of research:

  • Enabling Fabrication and Installation of Future Foundations
  • Port & Marine Systems Innovation to Support Offshore Logistics
  • Port Gaps Assessments and Strategies.

The second and third rounds of the solicitation, the selectees for which will be announced later, focus on Support Structure Innovation, Supply Chain Development, Electrical Systems & Innovation, and Conflicting Use Mitigation.

The Consortium was initially established in 2018 by DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, each contributing $20.5 million, to fund high-impact research projects that lower U.S. offshore wind costs 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. Additional information on the mission of the Consortium and its membership of leading offshore wind developers, research institutions, and industrial partners may be found at

Wind Resource Maps - Video Tutorial for Understanding Land-Based and Offshore Wind Resource Maps

WETO's WINDExchange initiative continues to publish maps of wind resources at 100-meter hub height to provide easy-to-understand snapshots of wind energy potential based on validated data specific to different regions of the United States. Funded by WETO and developed by experts at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, these maps depict the quality of available wind resources in different regions, which can aid preliminary efforts to understand wind resource availability in an area. A new video tutorial explains how to read these new maps, where to access them, and the difference between land-based and offshore wind resource maps.