New Prize Aims to Accelerate Domestic Wind Turbine Materials Recycling ♻️ Industry

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Wind Energy Technologies Office


July 12, 2023

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Continue to follow the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) for the latest news, events, and updates.

Research & Development Feature

A cannon pointed at a wind turbine from its base.

This Detection Technology Can Help Minimize Wind Turbine Interactions With Birds and Bats 🐦🦇

With WETO funding, Oregon State University is developing a wildlife detection platform for land-based and offshore wind turbines. This platform uses technologies to monitor how wind turbines coexist with birds and bats, from large birds, like golden eagles, to smaller marine birds, like marbled murrelets. Detecting wind turbine interactions with birds and bats is essential to determine and minimize the effects of wind energy on wildlife species and populations.

An illustration of a wind turbine and birds.

Did You Know?

Minimizing wind energy facilities’ impacts on local wildlife is a priority.

Check out our website to learn how WETO promotes environmentally sustainable development of wind power in the United States.


WETO Launches Prize to Accelerate Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Industry

"Wind Turbine Recycling Prize" with an illustration of a wind turbine and a recycle icon.

Today, WETO launched the Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize, a $5.1 million competition that will help the United States develop a cost-effective, sustainable recycling industry for two types of materials used in wind turbines. These materials are fiber-reinforced composites, such as carbon fiber and fiberglass, and rare earth elements, such as neodymium and dysprosium magnets used in generators. In the two-phase prize, competitors will present innovative technologies in the Initiate! phase, and then demonstrate prototypes of their technologies in the Accelerate! phase. 

Learn more about the Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize and register for the informational webinar on August 3, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. ET. 

Sun shining on a wind turbine.

WETO Selects 15 Small Businesses to Bring Wind Energy to New Heights

WETO announced funding—including funds from the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—for 15 small businesses working to accelerate wind energy Research and Development (R&D) as part of DOE's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These companies have each been selected to receive approximately $200,000 for Phase I SBIR/STTR awards.  

Learn about the new wind R&D projects on our web page, and check out the press release to learn about all of the selections from across DOE. 

WETO Selects Two Lab Projects to Transform Clean Energy Technologies

DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions recently announced an investment of over $21 million towards 30 clean energy projects through the Technology Commercialization Fund lab call. Two of these clean energy projects were selected by WETO:

  • Sandia National Laboratories will work on overcoming barriers to industry adoption of active wake control (which misalignes upstream turbines with the wind direction in order to redirect their wakes away from downstream turbines) by using accurate simulations.
  • Sandia National Laboratories will also develop the Wind Interconnection Standard Platform tool to automate and accelerate interoperability and interconnection certification procedures for power converters used in distributed wind projects.

Case Study Explores Wind Energy’s Impacts on Wildlife

A bat with it's mouth open.

For more than 30 years, research funded by WETO has addressed wind energy’s effects on wildlife and the environment.

To promote discussion, research, and responsible deployment of wind energy, WETO has supported collaboration with utilities; wind energy developers; and environmental-stewardship, regulatory, siting, and consumer-advocacy organizations.


Emerging Technologies and Infrastructure for Monitoring Bats and Birds Offshore

Webinar: July 12, 2023, 1–2 p.m. ET, Virtual

Advances in technologies and infrastructure for monitoring bats and birds offshore can help inform wind farm siting and mitigate potential impacts. This webinar from the U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research project will present innovative technological approaches being used to monitor bat and bird occurrence, distribution, and movement in offshore environments.

Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize Informational Webinar

Webinar: Aug. 3, 2023, 1 p.m. ET, Virtual

Join the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) prize administration team for an introductory webinar on to learn details about the prize, information on the support competitors will receive, and strategies for developing a successful submission package. Can’t make it? Don’t worry—the webinar will be recorded and posted in the “Resources” tab on HeroX. 

American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2023

Conference: Sept. 26–27, 2023, Portland, ME, and Virtual

This 2-day conference brings together industry, academia, and floating offshore wind experts from around the world to chart a course for domestic floating offshore wind energy. Whether in person or virtually, join this event to participate in discussions on the technical, regulatory, and permitting challenges that must be addressed to unlock floating offshore wind energy’s significant potential. 

North American Wind Energy Academy/WindTech 2023 Conference

Conference: Oct. 31–Nov. 2023, Denver, CO

This year, the conference will focus on a future where high levels of wind energy deployment meet the needs of a grid dominated by renewable energy. The event will feature the latest research to integrate wind energy with solar power, energy storage, and other energy sources into the complex and highly interdependent energy system of the future. The event will also address the social and environmental issues at the core of such an expansion and include the "grand challenges" of wind energy. 

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