Opportunities Abound: Examining the Grid of the Future and Conducting the Wind Energy Research to Support It

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Wind Energy Technologies Office


July 14, 2021

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In This Issue

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


North American Renewable Integration Study Highlights Opportunities for a Coordinated, Continental Low-Carbon Grid

The North American Renewable Integration Study (NARIS) can inform grid planners, utilities, industry, policymakers, and other stakeholders of the challenges and benefits of a well-connected, internationally integrated continental grid system that could accommodate large amounts of renewables. Read the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) press release and more about the study and the implications for a low-carbon future.

Worker in a hard hat inspecting equipment.

Biden Administration’s Budget Request Calls for Increase across Wind Energy Research Areas

On May 28, President Biden unveiled his detailed budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The budget includes nearly $205 million for WETO research.

See what the budget includes for WETO.

Accelerating Materials and Design for Next-Generation Lightweight Wind Turbine Generators

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a new study that examines using advanced machine learning and 3D printing technologies to design lightweight wind turbine generators with higher power density. Learn how the study assesses weight- and cost-saving opportunities.

DOE Announces 2021 Technology Commercialization Fund Selections  

DOE recently announced $1.95 million in wind-energy-related projects for DOE national laboratories and their research partners as part of an overall award of more than $30 million in funding for 68 projects supported by the Office of Technology Transitions Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). Read more about the selected projects.

Wind turbine behind solar panels.

Study Assesses Wind and Solar Value in U.S. Power Markets over Time

A recent study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looks at how wind and solar market value changed over time at utility-scale power plants across major power markets. The study concluded that, despite a decline over time, the average market values of wind and solar in 2019 were still higher than their respective average generation costs. Read more about the findings and how future market, technology, cost, and deployment trends may affect the value/cost relationship and how to mitigate declining market value.

Researchers Identify Priorities and Opportunities in U.S. Electricity Markets

Researchers from DOE’s national laboratories and its partners recently released a report, Research Priorities and Opportunities in United States Competitive Wholesale Electricity Markets, detailing six topic areas related to high-level challenges in wholesale electricity market design. The work is part of DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative. Read more about the research and report.

Upcoming Events

Wind Energy Science Leadership Series Webinar: Advantages of Distributed Wind Generation and How It Plays an Important Role in the Energy Mix

Virtual: July 15, 2021

Experts from NREL will share how distributed wind can reduce costs in the energy mix and improve performance of small wind turbines. Topics will include technology trends and the role distributed wind can play in future clean energy development. Information and registration are available on the Wind Energy Science Leadership page.

Wind Energy Technologies Office Peer Review

Virtual: August 2–5, 2021

The purpose of the Peer Review is to evaluate projects funded by DOE to assess their contribution to the mission and goals of the office, track progress against stated objectives, and assess the office’s overall management and performance. About 90% of projects in WETO’s Fiscal Year 2019–2020 research and development portfolio will be publicly presented and reviewed by external subject-matter experts from industry, academia, and federal agencies. Information and registration are on the WETO Peer Review website.

International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind

IPF Together: August 24–26, 2021, Richmond, VA

The Business Network for Offshore Wind’s International Partnering Forum (IPF) convenes the global offshore wind industry and offer the latest in education, networking, and platforms to help the offshore wind industry grow. Agenda and registration details are on the IPF website.

Offshore WINDPOWER 2021 Conference & Exhibition

Conference and Exhibition: October 13–15, 2021, Boston, MA

The American Clean Power Association will host the Offshore WINDPOWER 2021 Conference & Exhibition which provides opportunities for the offshore wind industry to cultivate relationships and tour exhibitions with offshore wind developers and experts. More information and registration are on the event website.

Sandia Blade Workshop-Save the Date

Workshop: October 25–28, 2021, Albuquerque, NM

The workshop convenes wind energy experts from industry, national laboratories, and universities to discuss research and development of wind turbine blades. For more information, visit Sandia’s website.

National Offshore Wind Research & Development Technical Symposium

Virtual: November 8–10, 2021

The National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium virtual Technical Symposium will feature presentations from researchers working on Consortium-funded projects as well as industry panels on regional supply chain solutions, dual power systems, controls and design optimization, grid integration, wildlife monitoring, digitization, data collection, artificial intelligence, and floating offshore wind platforms and mooring solutions. Register on the event website.


Tradeshow and Business Development: Dec 7–8, 2021, Salt Lake City, UT

The American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER 2021 will feature topics related to utility-scale wind, solar, storage, and transmission. The focus is to bring together the different technologies that make up the renewables mix—land-based wind, offshore wind, solar, storage, and transmission—as well as the different segments within the industries: manufacturers, construction firms, owner-operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate entities. Register on the event website.

In Case You Missed It

DOE Seeks Public Feedback on How To Remove Barriers to Participation in Funding Programs

DOE recently released a request for information (RFI) to understand the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities and innovation and entrepreneurship activities more inclusive, just, and equitable, in line with the Administration’s climate goals and Justice40 initiative. This RFI is intended to inform DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) on enabling an inclusive and just entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem for climate and energy technology research. Responses are due August 6, 2021, by 5 p.m. ET. View the full RFI.

The Pennsylvania State University Receives Top Honors at 2021 Collegiate Wind Competition

Congratulations to The Pennsylvania State University on winning DOE's Collegiate Wind Competition! Read the DOE press release to see how other teams fared in the overall competition as well as in Turbine Prototype, Project Development, and Connection Creation contests.

Biannual R&D Newsletter Highlights a Broad Range of Wind Research

Two workers stand pointing at wind turbines.

On June 2, WETO released our bi-annual research and development (R&D) newsletter. The spring 2021 edition details WETO research across a range of topics, all aimed at advancing wind energy nationwide. The newsletter also offers insight into numerous R&D efforts by our national laboratories and funded partners. Highlights include research findings on wind energy costs, better grid interconnection, and wind plant repowering as well as projects to develop technologies such as acoustic monitoring for right whales and the first inverter specifically for small- and medium-scale wind turbines. Read the spring 2021 edition and subscribe to receive future issues.

Partnerships Increasing the Reach and Impact of Offshore Wind R&D

Achieving the national goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 will require research, development and deployment activities across a range of stakeholders to find durable, innovative solutions to advance technology and reduce barriers. NREL has long partnered with industry, government, and research organizations, combining expertise to characterize wind resources, harness more power, optimize power plants and wind turbines, and assess environmental impacts. Learn more about NREL’s offshore wind research on the lab’s website.

EERE and DOE’s SBIR Program Select U.S. Small Businesses to Develop Wind Energy Innovations

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently selected four wind-energy-related projects for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I funding.