Catch the Wind: Late August 2021
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released three market reports showing record growth in U.S. wind energy over the past year. The annually updated data track installations, technologies, costs, prices, incentives, and performance for three wind energy market sectors—land-based utility scale, offshore, and distributed.
In 2020, wind energy was the largest source of U.S. electric-generating capacity additions, accounting for 42% of new capacity. Here’s a summary of key findings for each report:
Land-Based Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Utility-scale land-based wind power in the United States grew at a record pace in 2020. New land-based wind capacity totaled 16,836 megawatts (MW) and represented $24.6 billion of investment. Wind turbines continued to grow in size and power, with the average nameplate capacity of newly installed wind turbines at 2.75 MW—up 8% from 2019. This year’s report also includes a new assessment of the health and climate benefits of wind.
Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The U.S. offshore wind pipeline grew 24% over the past year, with 35,324 MW now in various stages of development, including 42 MW in operation. There are 15 projects in the U.S. offshore wind pipeline that have reached the permitting phase and eight states with offshore wind energy procurement goals totaling 39,298 MW by 2040. Turbine sizes continue to grow, with average rotor diameters exceeding 150 meters and turbine capacities of more than 7.5 MW. New trends also emerged, including increased interest in offshore wind to produce clean hydrogen.
Distributed Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The U.S. distributed wind sector—which includes power from wind turbines installed near where the power will be used—added 14.7 MW of new distributed wind capacity across 11 states. This capacity represents $41 million in investment and brings total installed capacity to 1,055 MW from more than 87,000 wind turbines across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. U.S.-based manufacturers of small wind turbines (100 kW or less) accounted for 71% of domestic small wind sales capacity in 2020.
DOE Announces Projects to Help Integrate Clean Energy Sources onto the Grid
DOE recently announced $45 million for projects to help integrate clean energy sources onto the grid and advance the domestic manufacturing of solar energy and electric grid technologies. The funding includes $25 million to form a public-private consortium on grid integration technology.
National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium Opens Solicitation for Innovative Technologies to Advance Offshore Wind
The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium released a new competitive solicitation to fund projects targeting offshore wind supply chain, logistics, and operations and maintenance. Concept paper submissions are due September 16, 2021. Details and application guidance are available on the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority website.
AFloat 2021: American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit
Virtual: September 8–9, 2021
Hosted by the University of Maine, this 2-day summit will feature internationally recognized panelists and speakers from the burgeoning U.S. floating wind industry. Panel topics include U.S. port infrastructure and floating projects, environmental and wildlife considerations, moorings and anchors, and more. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power (DAS-RP) Alejandro Moreno and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Walt Musial will present keynotes on Wed., Sept. 8. Register on the AFloat 2021 website.
North American Wind Energy Academy (NAWEA) WindTech 2021 Webinar Series
Weekly Webinar Series: September 23–October 27, 2021
NAWEA is hosting weekly webinars featuring presentations on a range of topics, from offshore wind to partnership opportunities to achieve a carbon-free energy system. EERE’s DAS-RP Alejandro Moreno will participate in the webinar panel at the Sept. 23 event. The webinars are free of charge via Zoom.
Offshore WINDPOWER 2021 Conference & Exhibition
Conference and Exhibition: October 13–15, 2021, Boston, MA
The American Clean Power Association will host this conference, which provides opportunities for the offshore wind industry to cultivate relationships and tour exhibitions with offshore wind developers and experts. Information is on the event website.
Symposium: October 18–21, 2021, Washington, D.C.
Organized by Idaho National Laboratory and a committee comprising national laboratories, academia, and industry, this symposium will convene public and private partners to discuss how to ensure a secure and reliable flow of energy across the nation. More information is on the website.
National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium Technical Symposium
Virtual: November 8–10, 2021
This virtual symposium will feature presentations from researchers working on Consortium-funded projects as well as industry panels on regional supply chain solutions, dual power systems, controls and design optimization, grid integration, wildlife monitoring, digitization, data collection, artificial intelligence, and floating offshore wind platforms and mooring solutions. Register on the event website.
Distributed Wind 2021 Lobby Day and Business Conference
Conference: November 15–18, 2021, Arlington, VA
Hosted by the Distributed Wind Energy Association, this conference convenes the distributed and community wind industry to showcase this sector of the wind industry, attend educational sessions, and network. More info is on the conference website.
American Clean Power Association CLEANPOWER 2021
Tradeshow and Business Development: December 7–8, 2021, Salt Lake City, UT
CLEANPOWER will feature topics related to utility-scale wind, solar, storage, and transmission. The focus is to convene the technologies that make up the renewables mix—land-based wind, offshore wind, solar, storage, and transmission—and the different industry segments: manufacturers, construction firms, owner-operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate entities. Register on the event website.