This U.S. Department of Energy Wind R&D Newsletter provides recent news about the DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office's R&D projects, its accomplishments, upcoming events, funding opportunities, and recent publications.

Letter from the Wind Energy Technologies Office Deputy Director

As the wind industry gathers at the American Wind Energy Association Offshore WINDPOWER 2017 conference, we celebrate a year of progress and change for the U.S. offshore wind industry. At the end of 2016, the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm—Block Island Wind Farm—completed development off the coast of Rhode Island. Since then, more states have committed to expanding their offshore wind energy resources. And global market price declines promise to spur new development. Read more.

Current R&D

New Offshore Wind Study Assesses Economic Potential Through 2030

A new study found considerable economic potential for offshore wind development in the United States. The study, titled “An Assessment of the Economic Potential of Offshore Wind in the United States from 2015 to 2030,” provides insight into the variation of wind resources and economic potential for offshore wind in all of the U.S. coastal regions through 2030. Researchers evaluated the offshore wind economic potential of more than 7,000 U.S. coastal sites by utilizing descriptive statistics and high-resolution heat maps of levelized cost of energy, levelized avoided cost of energy, and net value. Read more.

Offshore Floating Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Project Identifies Promising Platform Design

A new floating, vertical-axis wind turbine platform design may enable offshore wind developers in the United States to access the country’s vast deep-water offshore wind resource. The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Vision Report and National Offshore Wind Strategy explore a scenario in which 86 gigawatts of offshore wind turbines will be installed by 2050. Reaching a competitive levelized cost of energy with existing energy sources is essential to achieving these goals and the industry’s commercial success. Read more.

A Renewable Future for the Oil and Gas Industry

After decreasing prices of crude oil have forced layoffs throughout the oil and gas industry, some of the players in the offshore oil and gas industry are looking toward a new future: offshore wind. Combining the nascent offshore wind industry with decades of offshore engineering, manufacturing, and installation know-how creates an opportunity for traditionally offshore oil and gas companies and rising-star renewables to thrive. Read more.

ThermalTracker: The Secret Lives of Bats and Birds Revealed

American offshore wind turbines have the gross potential to produce over 2,000 gigawatts of power—more than double the amount of energy consumed by the United States each year. Offshore wind is consistent, abundant, and reliable, making it a promising source of energy near heavily populated coastal areas. When planning offshore wind projects, collecting data on the abundance of birds and bats informs project siting. Post-construction monitoring is also important to ensure project effects are sustainable and understood. Read more.

NREL Paves the Way for Floating Offshore Wind Semisubmersible Model Validation

National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers have been leading an international effort to validate offshore wind models by comparing physical test data from offshore wind energy systems against the simulated data produced by modeling tools. Analyzing offshore wind system modeling tools enables the development of more innovative and cost-effective designs. This project, called the Offshore Code Comparison Collaboration, Continued, with Correlation, ran under the International Energy Agency Wind Research Task 30 and involved more than 30 countries and research institutions. Read more.

Wind Energy Continues Rapid Growth 

America’s wind industry added more than 8,200 megawatts of capacity and supported more than 101,000 jobs in 2016, according to three wind market reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office. These reports cover the offshore, land-based utility-scale, and distributed wind market sectors. Read more.

Recent Publications

Visit the Energy Department's Wind Technology Resource Center for research reports, publications, data sets, and online tools developed by national laboratories and facilities.

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