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 Director

This spring edition of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Research & Development Newsletter comes on the heels of a milestone year for the wind industry. In 2016, the industry surpassed 82,000 megawatts (MW) of total installed capacity to make wind the number-one source of renewable generation capacity in the United States. In December 2016, developer Deepwater Wind began operating America’s first offshore wind farm: the Block Island Wind Farm, a five-turbine, 30-MW project located off Rhode Island. The Amazon Wind Farm—North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind project—came on line in February 2017, bringing the number of states with utility-scale wind power installations to 41. More

Current R&D

DOE Demonstration Projects Improve Commercial-Scale Offshore Wind Manufacturing

Energy consumption in the coastal states amounts to roughly 80% of the U.S. electricity demand, making offshore wind a crucial aspect of the country’s clean energy mix. Since 2012, DOE has supported a portfolio of advanced wind energy technology demonstration projects representing some of the nation’s most innovative offshore wind projects in state and federal waters—including expediting the design process for commercial-scale foundation manufacturing and developing offshore wind turbine foundations that reduce installation time and costs. These projects are intended to address key challenges associated with installing full-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes. More

Atmospheric Conditions Drive Turbine Wake Behavior at Sandia

Results recently acquired from the Wake Steering Experiment being conducted at Sandia's Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility located near Lubbock, Texas, vividly demonstrate the impact of atmospheric conditions on the behavior of wind turbine wakes. Using a unique scanning lidar from partners at the Technical University of Denmark, researchers measured the velocity profile of the SWiFT wind turbine wake at numerous downstream distances ranging from 27 to 135 meters (1–5 rotor diameters) under different inflow conditions. More

New Public Siting Tool Addresses Potential Impacts of Wind Turbines on Radar Systems

As part of DOE's effort to address and remove siting barriers for wind energy developments, Sandia has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the first publicly available geographic information system addressing the potential impacts that wind turbines can have on radar systems—such as impacting weather forecasts and NOAA’s severe weather warning system. More

Gearbox Reliability Collaborative Successfully Demonstrates a Longer Gearbox Lifetime

NREL has successfully demonstrated a new gearbox design developed by the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative (GRC), with a predicted lifetime 3.5 times greater than the previous, conventional design. NREL established the GRC in 2007 to address the failure of many wind turbine gearboxes in achieving their intended design life, despite meeting then-current design standards and third-party certification criteria. More

Leading-Edge Erosion Research Used to Reduce Wind Power Plant Performance Uncertainty

Severe wind turbine blade leading-edge surface erosion can cause increased wind turbine performance losses that are far greater than anticipated during wind plant development. More

How the Wind Blows: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Research Informs Wind Forecasting Models

The variability of wind energy is viewed by some as a hindrance to achieving greater integration with the electrical grid. And even though we cannot control when the wind blows, we can certainly get better at predicting it. More

Empowering Small Businesses to Expand Wind Energy Innovation

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recognizes the critical role public-private partnerships play in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy. American small businesses continue to drive job creation and economic growth. Fueled by the spirit of innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship, they are a backbone of the U.S. economy and have a tremendous opportunity to help America lead the clean energy race. More

Additive Manufacturing of Wind Blade Molds Projects to Save Time and Reduce Costs

A partnership between DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia, and private company TPI Composites recently demonstrated the significant time- and cost-saving potential of integrating additive manufacturing techniques, also known as 3-D printing, into wind turbine tooling. More

Past Issues

See previous versions of the Wind Energy Technologies Office R&D Newsletter.

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