Spring’s Wind R&D Newsletter Has Arrived, and 2022’s Collegiate Wind Competition Comes to a Close

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Wind Energy Technologies Office


June 1, 2022

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In This Issue

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

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Did You Know?

Modern wind turbines are increasingly cost-effective and more reliable, and have scaled up in size to multi-megawatt power ratings. Check out our website to learn how we support the continued evolution of wind energy technology.

Clean Energy Champions

Meet WETO Systems Integration Program Lead Jian Fu

Headshot of Jian Fu with "May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month" text.

For five and a half years, Jian Fu has been leading Systems Integration for the Wind Energy Technologies Office. As a first-generation immigrant from Asia, Jian used to find self-identifying as a minority in the work environment difficult. But Jian has found the Department of Energy’s (DOE's) open and inclusive work culture helpful in growing into who she is today. Jian is proud to play an integral part in the clean energy transition and encourages those looking to her for advice to make their own contributions to a cleaner world. Read more about Jian’s achievements.

Research & Development Feature

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Distributed Wind Potential, Atmospheric Phenomena, Grid Stabilization and Much More in the Spring 2022 Wind R&D Newsletter

How much distributed wind can be economically deployed across the United States? Could a single wind turbine provide energy savings for an entire community in Alaska? How can data measuring atmospheric phenomena improve renewable energy performance? Can wind turbines stabilize the electric grid as much as traditional sources of power? Discover the answers to these questions and many more in the U.S. Department of Energy Spring 2022 Wind R&D Newsletter!


DOE Launches Partnership to Improve Clean Energy Interconnection to the Electric Grid

Logo for Interconnection innovation e-xchange.

Yesterday, DOE launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X), a new program that develops innovative solutions to enable faster, simpler, and fairer interconnection of solar energy, wind energy, and energy storage, while enhancing the reliability and resilience of our nation’s distribution and transmission grid networks. With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program is led by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office with the support of several national laboratories. All stakeholders involved in the interconnection process are encouraged to join i2X. Participants can join working groups, receive direct access to interconnection experts, and apply for technical assistance opportunities. Find out more about the partnership and how to get involved at the kickoff event with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on June 7. Please mark your calendars and sign up to attend.

DOE Announces Winners of 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition

Congratulations to Kansas State University on winning the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition! Based on cumulative scores, Kansas State University claimed first place overall. Read the EERE press release to see how other teams fared in the overall competition and in the Turbine Design, Turbine Testing, Project Development, and Connection Creation contests.

Team photo of CWC Kansas State University participants.

Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, 12 competing teams and four learn-along teams designed, built, and tested model wind turbines, developed project plans, collaborated with industry experts, and engaged with their local communities. The competition culminated at the American Clean Power Association’s (ACP’s) CLEANPOWER 2022 Conference & Exhibition, where the teams presented their work to a panel of wind energy experts. This work helped prepare them for careers in the growing wind and renewable energy workforce to support President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Northeast Sea Grant Consortium Funds Six Projects

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium—in partnership with WETO and the Water Power Technologies Office, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center—has selected six projects to advance social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the Northeast United States. These projects will advance research for the coexistence of marine energy with Northeast fishing and coastal communities. More than $1.1 million in federal funds were awarded, with each project matching 50% in nonfederal funds. This research will benefit a variety of stakeholders by providing community-focused tools required for the equitable and sustainable development of the Northeast’s coastal and ocean resources.

WETO Awards Nearly $1.4 Million to Support Small Business Wind Innovation

Small businesses play a major role in spurring cutting-edge technology to combat the climate crisis. The Wind Energy Technologies Office is leveraging this innovative expertise, with nearly $1.4 million in awards to a diverse group of clean energy entrepreneurs. The awards, part of DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, went to projects that tackle offshore wind operations and maintenance, create innovative solutions to wind transmission interconnection and cybersecurity challenges, and develop technology solutions for advancing ocean co-existence and co-use with marine energy and communities.

Experts Forecast the Wind Plant of the Future to Be Taller and More Economical

Wind plant projections into the future.

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), supported by both the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and DOE, predict that by 2035, wind plant designs will embrace towers even taller than previously thought. Researchers gained this insight by analyzing the opinions of over 140 of the world’s leading experts, who predicted that the hub heights of onshore wind turbines will reach 130 meters by 2035. This new forecast is in contrast to previous predictions of 115-meter turbines, which could potentially result in changes to plant design choices.

Updated Metric Suggests Future Wind Costs May be Lower than Previously Projected

With support from DOE, researchers from LBNL have released a new study that suggests lower future wind technology costs than are often represented in literature. These lower costs were calculated using levelized cost-based learning, which is based on the lifetime cost divided by energy production, rather than capital cost-based learning, which is based on only up-front costs. Other factors considered in this study that reveal greater cost reductions are regional variation in labor prices, changes in material prices, and income tax rates.


Torque Conference 2022

Conference: June 1–3, 2022, Delft, Netherlands

TU Delft Wind Energy Institute will host the biennial scientific conference ‘The Science of Making Torque from Wind’ (TORQUE). The 9th edition, TORQUE 2022 will be held June 1–3, 2022 in Delft Netherlands and will feature research and development from DOE's National Laboratories who tackle the critical scientific challenges of our time.

Deployable Wind Power for Defense and Disaster Response

Workshop: June 17, 2022, 10 a.m. ET, Virtual

Stakeholders are invited to attend this workshop, hosted by Sandia National Laboratories, NREL, Idaho National Laboratory, and University of Dayton Research Institute, to learn more about integrating wind energy in hybrid deployable energy systems and understanding the needs of the defense and disaster response communities. Register to connect with research, industry, academic, and government attendees at a workshop aimed at bringing wind energy manufacturers together with power-integrator end users. Learn more about the Defense and Disaster Deployable Turbine project, funded by WETO. 

Offshore WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition

Conference: October 18–19, 2022, Providence, RI

The American Clean Power Association is hosting the Offshore WINDPOWER conference which will feature panels, presentations, workshops, and poster sessions focusing on the future of offshore wind. Stop by DOE's booth to learn about DOE-funded offshore wind research and DOE’s newest initiatives.

Sandia Blade Workshop

Workshop: October 17–20, 2022, Albuquerque, NM

The workshop brings together wind industry experts, wind farm stakeholders and operators, manufacturers, and researchers to address the major topics for wind turbine blades, facilitate interaction and networking among the attendees, and identify future technology pathways. For more information, visit Sandia’s website.

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