Office: Wind Energy Technologies Office
RFP number: SUB-2024-10185
Link to apply: SAM.gov
RFP Amount: $2.5 million

On Feb. 26, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced up to $2.5 million to support distributed wind energy technology commercialization and market expansion through the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP). Changes in 2024 include a new topic area for inverters and a focus on commercialization plans and business models that support cost savings and revenue generation for rural small businesses and farmers. These changes will support the U.S. Department of Agriculture and DOE’s new Rural and Agricultural Income & Savings from renewable Energy (RAISE) Initiative.

Managed by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, CIP awards cost-shared subcontracts and national laboratory technical support to U.S. component suppliers and manufacturers of small- and medium-sized wind turbines. 

Under this request for proposals (RFP), NREL anticipates making several awards. Individual awards typically range from $150,000 to $800,000, depending on the topic area, with 20%–50% cost-share requirements. 

Objective:

In response to current U.S. distributed wind energy market needs—distributed wind energy components and turbines that are tested, certified, commercialized, and ready for deployment—this RFP prioritizes projects that:

  • Provide distributed energy consumers with wind energy technology options that are tested and certified for performance and quality.
  • Support distributed wind energy technology commercialization with a focus on business models that benefit rural small business and farmers.
  • Address the need for inverters built specifically for distributed wind turbines and that have achieved listing to national safety standards.
  • Develop advanced manufacturing processes to reduce hardware costs and meet growing demand.

A new topic area for 2024—Inverter Listing—addresses the urgent need for inverters built specifically for distributed wind turbines and validated by the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory to meet the requirements of electrical safety standards.

CIP 2024 funding is designed to help U.S. distributed wind energy technologies achieve deployment readiness in support of national clean energy goals.

Topic Areas

  • Prototype Installation and Testing: Validate prototype wind turbines to determine their commercial readiness.  
  • Small Turbine Certification and/or Listing: Help small wind turbines (150 kilowatts or less) achieve certification and enable turbine assembly or components to achieve listing to applicable electrical safety standards.  
  • Type Certification and Listing: Help turbines up to 1 megawatt seek type certification and enable turbine assembly or components to achieve listing to applicable electrical safety standards.  
  • (New) Inverter Listing: Enable inverters built specifically for wind turbines up to 1 megawatt to achieve listing to electrical safety standards. 
  • Manufacturing Process Innovation: Support designing, building, and validating improved manufacturing processes for wind turbine production, leading to reduced energy costs. 
  • Product Commercialization and Market Development: Address cost barriers to commercialization and development benefitting rural small business and farmers.

Key Dates (Subject to Change)

This RFP will remain open for 30 days.

RFP Issue Date: Feb. 26, 2024
Submission Deadline for Proposals: March 27, 2024, 2 p.m. MDT
Expected Date for Selection Notifications: Summer 2024
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: Contract negotiations typically occur in late summer with projects kicking off in Fall 2024. 

Additional Information

  • CIP proposals are scored on technical approach, readiness, market impact, and project team.
  • Applicants must complete a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) assessment to demonstrate their commitment to DEIA principles, including their understanding, track record, and concrete plans for advancing DEIA within their organization.
  • Download the full RFP on SAM.gov.
  • For further information about CIP, including examples of past awards and information presented in a November 2023 webinar, visit the CIP project website.
  • For RFP-specific support, contact CIP2024@nrel.gov