Catch the Wind: Carbon Rivers Creates New Technology to Recycle Wind Turbine Blades

Bookmark and Share

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Wind Energy Technologies Office


July 26, 2022

Banner image for "Catch the Wind"

In This Issue

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

Icon for distributed wind.

Did you know?

The United States has more than 500 manufacturing facilities specializing in wind components such as blades, towers, and generators, as well as in wind turbine assembly. Check out our website to learn how WETO promotes advanced manufacturing capabilities for wind energy technology.

Clean Energy Champions

Wind Researcher Lindsay Sheridan Emphasizes Need for Community Engagement

Lindsay Sheridan stands in a wind farm on a clear day.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Earth Scientist Lindsay Sheridan performs wind resource assessments for communities—from rural and isolated to military bases—who are interested in adding wind to their energy portfolios.

Sheridan says conversations with communities are essential. While her work can determine where a community’s best technical wind resource locations might be, she depends on the community to tell her whether those locations are of cultural or environmental significance.

“Together, we can narrow down the optimal locations for wind deployment,” she says.

Learn more about Sheridan’s unique career path and her ambitions for wind energy, and how young scientists can get involved in renewable energy.

Research & Development Feature

Wind Turbine Blade Recycling and Upcycling Now a Reality

The complete elimination of contaminants allows recycled glass fiber to displace virgin fiberglass.

The complete elimination of contaminants allows recycled glass fiber to displace virgin fiberglass.

Energy technology company Carbon Rivers has commercialized a new process to recover 99.9% pure glass fiber from decommissioned fiberglass wind turbine blades, enabling its use in new composite products. This achievement, which resulted from a collaboration with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and WETO, closes the loop on a circular economy for the wind industry and could have a global impact on the sustainability of wind energy. Read the full R&D feature.


First Round of 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants Announced

Two competitors work on their wind turbine at a previous Collegiate Wind Competition.

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced 30 colleges and universities to participate in Phase 1 of the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). During the first half of the 2022–2023 school year, these collegiate teams will develop preliminary designs for a prototype wind turbine and a hypothetical wind farm site and will conduct outreach with the wind energy industry.

By early 2023, the competition organizers will narrow the 30 participating teams to up to 12 teams, who will then be invited to continue competing in the second half of the school year. These teams will also be invited to present their work at the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER Conference & Exhibition in May 2023.

A colored silhouette of a bat in flight in the sky next to the colored shape of a wind turbine as viewed from the base of the tower.

New Funding Partnerships Explore Coexistence of Bats and Wind Energy

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has awarded three companies funding to support research on bats and wind energy projects. Selected through the NREL Enabling Coexistence Options for Wind Energy and Wildlife (ECO Wind) program’s first-ever competitive request for proposals, the awardees will receive a total of $1.1 million to research how bats behave near wind turbines and power plants.

New Video Explains How Having More than Enough Renewable Energy Capacity Can Make the Grid More Flexible

Curtailment—what happens when more renewable energy is available than can be served to customers—has a negative connotation in the energy community for wasting clean, free electricity. In a new explainer video, NREL calls for a shift in mindset, as the curtailment of wind and solar can be used to help make the grid more flexible and reliable.

Modeling Exactly Where Distributed Energy Resources Could Provide the Most Value to the Grid

Electrical boxes and tesla batteries mounted on the side of a home.

The value of distributed energy resources (DERs) to the grid depends on when and where a system generates power, also known as “locational value.” However, quantifying DER locational value has been difficult due to changing grid conditions and a lack of site-specific data.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory made a big leap forward by adding new data and capabilities to the Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen) model.

DOE Announced $137 Million for Small Businesses

DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program awarded $137 million to American small businesses in 30 states, addressing missions primarily focused on clean energy research and development. The Phase II awards, which are for projects in the prototype or processing development stage, include two funded by the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) and one co-funded by WETO and the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO):

  • Wildlife Imaging System LLC: Hinesburg, VT ($1,150,000)—WETO-funded research that will create an automated wildlife activity and mortality detection system to quantify the amount and timing of interactions between wildlife and wind energy technology.
  • Intergrid, LLC: Temple, NH ($1,150,000)—WETO-funded proposal that will develop inverter hardware and advanced software controllers that can meet certification requirements and lower costs.
  • Quantum Ventura: San Jose, CA ($1,150,000)—WETO and AMO joint topic project that focuses on extracting valuable and nationally critical rare earth metals and rare earths from e-waste.

NREL Details Wind Energy Midyear Accomplishments

Cover of the NREL Wind Energy Accomplishments & Midyear Performance Report.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published its Wind Energy Accomplishments & Midyear Performance Report for the first half of Fiscal Year 2022 (October 2021–March 2022).

Among these achievements are:

The report also features a list of publications from the first half of Fiscal Year 2022. NREL’s National Wind Technology Center has supported DOE wind energy innovation for 43 years.

We’re Hiring!

WETO supports research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities designed to advance the innovation and acceleration of offshore, land-based, and distributed wind technologies. The underlying objective is to build a clean energy future that benefits all Americans. To meet such an ambitious goal, WETO needs diverse and talented employees to join our team!

Go where the wind takes you and visit WETO’s current job openings and Careers at EERE to view additional opportunities in professional and business support and other technology offices.


American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2022

Conference: Sept. 11–14, 2022, Portland, ME

Join leading experts to chart a course for floating offshore wind energy in the United States. The American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2022 will consist of two full days of sessions and a field trip to the University of Maine to tour the Advanced Structures & Composites Center, a world-class research facility with the largest university-based research team focused on floating offshore wind technologies. For more information, visit the event website.

North American Wind Energy Academy/WindTech 2022 Conference

Conference: Sept. 20–22, 2022, Newark, DE

Building on the success of the 2019 conference, the 2022 conference will reunite the North American Wind Energy Academy Symposium and the International Conference on Future Technologies in Wind Energy (WindTech) while broadening the 2019 vision to explore themes of grid integration and the social science of wind energy development. More information can be found on the event website.

Global Clean Energy Action Forum

Forum: Sept. 21–23, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA

DOE is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to launch and host the 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum, which will directly follow the UN General Assembly. Clean energy leaders from around the world will unite to accelerate the clean energy transition while responding to global security needs. This event will feature a high-level plenary, topical roundtables, CEOs and experts, side events, a clean energy technology showcase, and other activities! U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will also be in attendance. Visit the Global Clean Energy Action Forum website for more information.

Offshore WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition

Conference: Oct. 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 energy. Stop by the DOE booth to learn about its offshore wind research and newest initiatives. Find more information on the event website.

Sandia Blade Workshop

Workshop: Oct. 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 the Sandia National Laboratories website.

In Case You Missed It