The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) and is accepting applications for the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) through May 5, 2020. The CIP is supported by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office in alignment with the office’s goals to make wind energy cost competitive with other distributed energy resources, improve interoperability with other distributed energy resources, and increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national testing standards.
The competitive process awards cost-shared subcontracts and technical support to manufacturers of small- and medium-sized wind turbines to:
- Innovate optimized designs for increased energy production and grid support.
- Conduct turbine and component testing to national standards to verify performance and safety.
- Develop advanced manufacturing processes to reduce hardware costs.
The CIP supports small businesses in multiple phases of the product development cycle—from paper design through commercial test unit, including supporting innovation of existing product models. Since 2013, NREL has awarded 36 subcontracts to 20 companies, totaling $7.75 million in investment, while leveraging $3.79 million in additional private-sector funding. Companies developing new applications of wind energy development are also encouraged to apply, allowing distributed wind technologies to more widely support future distributed energy needs.
The RFP includes cost-share requirements, and offerors must provide evidence of incorporation in the United States, demonstrate strong team skills and capabilities, and provide financial information. Work funded under this effort is expected to take place in the United States and/or U.S. Territories, unless otherwise justified.