Below is the text version for the video, Technical Assistance: Distributed Wind. In this video, Alice Orrell of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discusses wind as a distributed energy resource in electricity grids as part of the technical assistance offered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).

Text Version

[Music plays, title screen shows “Energy Transitions Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy: Partnership Project, Technical Assistance”]

[Woman with blonde hair and wearing a black turtleneck starts speaking]

Hi, this is Alice Orrell at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. I’m excited to be part of the multi-laboratory Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project on the technical assistance team. I’m based in Richland, Washington,

[Photo of Alice and son at the Columbia River appears on screen]

which is the southeast part of the state near where the Columbia River turns to make the border between Washington and Oregon.

[Video of woman speaking returns]

My research focuses on distributed wind. Distributed wind is just wind used as a distributed energy resource. It is connected at the distribution level of the electricity grid or in an isolated grid. Distributed wind technologies can range from a less than 1-kilowatt off-grid wind turbine at a remote cabin or oil and gas platform,

[Image of a cabin in a snowy landscape with a wind turbine appears]

to a 15-kilowatt wind turbine at a home or farm,

[Image of a farm with a wind turbine in snow]

to several multi-megawatt wind turbines at a university campus,

[Close-up image of a wind turbine with town and more wind turbines in the background]

at a manufacturing facility, or connected to the distribution system of a small community.

[Video of woman speaking returns]

The distributed wind research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and with our other laboratory partners, covers a lot of topics.

We have a large research effort around understanding market conditions for distributed wind. This means understanding the policies available across the country for wind and other distributed energy resources, understanding electricity retail rates and charges, and what it actually costs to buy, install, and maintain wind turbines. We have an extensive network of state and federal agencies, turbine manufacturers, and project developers and installers with whom we speak regularly so we really know what is going on in the market and how much distributed wind projects cost to install and maintain.

This expertise allows us to provide screening assessments for remote and islanded communities who are interested in considering wind energy. We can perform fact-based, data-driven assessments to help communities determine whether a wind project would be appropriate and cost-effective for them.

For example, while not a remote community, we recently did a screening assessment for the Delaware Army National Guard. The Delaware Army National Guard is interested in incorporating more wind energy into its energy portfolio as part of its Army-mandated Installation Energy and Water Plan which focuses on comprehensive resiliency and efficiency.

They have multiple sites across Delaware. We looked at the wind resource, utility bills, and land availability for each site. We estimated potential energy production amounts for different turbine models at the different sites. And we also calculated estimated levelized costs of energy for each turbine model at each site. All of this analysis came together to determine which sites were best to consider for a wind turbine, and which ones were clearly not suitable.

One of the ways in which wind energy can provide resilience is through resource diversity. As you know, solar photovoltaics can only generate energy during the day when the sun is shining. Solar resources also tend to be stronger in summer months. Wind energy generation can be complementary to solar energy.

One of my favorite examples of this is at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont.

[PowerPoint slide appears with the title “Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.” A graph showing average monthly production from 2012-2016. Two images of the Refuge with a wind turbine and the facility. Also the slide states, “The 10-kW wind turbine and 15-kW solar PV array at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge demonstrate wind generation’s complementary value to solar PV generation on a monthly basis”]

The refuge has a 10-kilowatt wind turbine and a 15-kilowatt solar PV array. Over the course of a year, the two renewable resources complement each other as more wind energy is generated in the winter months when solar generation is low, and more solar energy is generated in the summer months, when wind generation is low.

[Video of woman speaking returns]

But the net result is that wind and solar combined contribute a fairly steady annual renewable energy contribution to the refuge.

Thank you for watching this video to learn how we can help you evaluate potential wind energy projects for your community. Stay safe and we look forward to working with you.

[Music plays, title screen with “Energy Transitions Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy – Partnership Project | Technical Assistance, Office of Strategic Programs| Solar Energy Technologies Office| Water Power Technologies Office | Office of Electricity]