Happy New (Fiscal) Year! Celebrating a Year of R&D Accomplishments

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Wind Energy Technologies Office


October 4, 2021

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In This Issue

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

Icon illustrating Land-Based Wind.


Did You Know?

The average wind turbine rotor diameter in 2020 was about 125 meters (410 feet)—longer than a U.S. football field. Bigger turbines=more energy captured!


Recapping a Year of Accomplishments at the Wind Energy Technologies Office

President Biden and Energy Secretary Granholm tour the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

As Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 comes to a close, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) is celebrating a range of research and funding achievements—from an offshore wind supply chain roadmap to new resources to help communities plan wind energy developments.

Learn more about how WETO’s FY21 accomplishments have helped set the stage for U.S. wind energy to continue to grow.

NREL Announces Funding Opportunity for Bat-Wind Turbine Interactions and Deterrents

NREL has announced a WETO-funded Request for Proposals to support research into how bat behave near wind turbines and how they respond to tools intended to keep bats away from turbines (deterrents). NREL expects to award up to four subcontracts, with funding ranging from $450,000 to $700,000. Applications are due December 8, 2021.

DOE Partners on Sea Grant Liaison to Connect Communities to Info on Offshore Wind

Offshore wind turbines at sea.

WETO and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Rhode Island Sea Grant have partnered to establish and fill a new Offshore Wind Liaison position. The Liaison will connect community stakeholders to information resources and research about offshore wind energy development. By providing information, supporting technical assistance, and sharing resources, the Liaison will help empower communities to engage in offshore wind energy development decisions. The position is part of NOAA’s collaboration with other federal agencies on six new liaison positions intended to connect communities with federally-funded research and information.

DOE Highlights Wind Turbine Composite Research as Part of Manufacturing Day

NREL’s Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology (CoMET) Facility partners with the wind industry to design stronger, lighter weight, less expensive, and even recyclable wind turbine blades. Innovations under development at CoMET include advanced materials and plant-based resins, new welding techniques that can extend turbine blade lifespan, and 3D-printed molds that could eventually be used for onsite component manufacturing. Learn more about CoMET and see how DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office celebrated these innovations and more with Manufacturing Day 2021.

Collegiate Wind Competition Aims to Broaden Participation with New Application Process

A woman sets up a model wind turbine for the CWC competition.

DOE’s Collegiate Wind Competition is launching a new application process for the 2022–2023 academic year competition. The change will make the competition more accessible to schools that have not participated in the past, in turn broadening the reach and impact of the competition. The new process will start in March 2022.

Report Details Innovative Ways to Help Secure the Nation’s Energy Systems

Physical and cybersecurity threats to our nation’s energy delivery systems, particularly renewable systems like wind energy, are a growing concern. The Infrastructure Security team at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory and its industry partner, EnerNex, have released a report detailing an innovative approach to prepare for these risks. 


North American Wind Energy Academy (NAWEA) WindTech 2021 Webinar Series

Weekly webinar series: September 23–October 27, 2021

In lieu of its cancelled 2021 conference, NAWEA is hosting a series of webinars featuring presentations on a range of topics, from offshore wind to partnership opportunities to achieve a carbon-free energy system. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will speak on Oct. 6, and Nate McKenzie, WETO’s Technology Manager for Offshore Wind R&D, will present on Oct. 19. The webinars are free of charge via Zoom.

Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) Fall 2021 Meeting

Virtual and in-person meeting: October 5–7, 2021, Detroit, MI

The IACMI Fall 2021 Members Meeting is free of charge and open to the public, with some sessions being available virtually. The event features a Wind Energy Working Group and Recycling/Circular Economy Working Group meeting on Oct. 7, with WETO Director Bob Marlay giving opening remarks and DOE national laboratory staff included as panelists.

Offshore WINDPOWER 2021 Conference & Exhibition

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

The American Clean Power Association will host this conference, which provides opportunities for the offshore wind industry to cultivate relationships and tour exhibitions with offshore wind developers and experts. Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will provide a virtual keynote on Oct. 13. Two of DOE’s national labs will also present virtually: NREL’s Matt Shields on up-to-date forecasts and info about the emerging U.S. supply chain on Oct. 14, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Alicia Mahon on bird radar technology and other applications for offshore monitoring on Oct. 15.

Resilience Week

Virtual symposium: October 18–21, 2021

Organized by Idaho National Laboratory and a committee comprising national laboratories, academia, and industry, this symposium will virtually convene public and private partners to discuss how to ensure a secure and reliable flow of energy across the nation.

National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium Technical Symposium

Virtual symposium: November 8–10, 2021

This virtual 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.

Distributed Wind 2021 Lobby Day and Business Conference

Conference: November 15–18, 2021, Arlington, VA

Hosted by the Distributed Wind Energy Association, this conference convenes the distributed and community wind industry to showcase this sector of the wind industry, attend educational sessions, and network.

American Clean Power Association CLEANPOWER 2021

Tradeshow and business development: Dec 7–8, 2021, Salt Lake City, UT

CLEANPOWER will feature topics related to utility-scale wind, solar, storage, and transmission. The focus is to convene the technologies that make up the renewables mix—land-based wind, offshore wind, solar, storage, and transmission—and the different industry segments: manufacturers, construction firms, owner-operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate entities.

In Case You Missed It

Annual Wind Data and Trends Released for Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind

Wind energy in the United States grew at a record pace in 2020, representing the largest source of new additions to the U.S. electric-generating capacity. Three market reports released by DOE detail trends in land-based, offshore, and distributed wind development, technology, cost, and performance through the end of 2020 (and through May 2021 for U.S. offshore wind).

DOE Announces Projects to Help Integrate Clean Energy Sources onto the Grid

DOE recently announced $45 million for projects to help integrate clean energy sources onto the grid and advance the domestic manufacturing of solar energy and electric grid technologies. The funding includes $25 million to form a public-private consortium on grid integration technology.

DOE Prize Aims to Support Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Underserved Communities

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its Office of Economic Impact and Diversity have announced the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. The prize will provide up to $2.5 million total to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underrepresented and underserved in the energy sector.

Energy Explained: How Carbon Capture Can Help Fight Climate Change

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm discusses how carbon capture and storage can help address the climate crisis in a recent DOE “Energy Explained" video.