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DOE Seeks Input on Offshore Wind Environmental Research and Related Technology Needs

In support of National Ocean Month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) has released a Request for Information (RFI) about environmental-related research needs concerning offshore wind energy development in the United States. WETO is asking industry, academia, laboratories, government agencies, and the public for input on high-priority environmental research needs regarding U.S. offshore wind energy impact assessment, model validation, and monitoring and mitigation technology development and testing.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Announces New Project Awards

Today, the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium announced the competitive selection of 12 new research projects. This brings the total number of Consortium awards to date to 20, representing an investment of up to $17.3 million. When establishing the Consortium in 2018, DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority each provided $20.5 million to fund high-impact research projects to lower the costs of U.S. offshore wind and support supply chain development. The Consortium plans to release another solicitation later this year. Additional information on the mission of the Consortium and its membership of leading offshore wind developers, research institutions, and industrial partners may be found at https://nationaloffshorewind.org/.

EERE Announces $21.3 Million for Phase I Small Business Innovation Projects

As part of the recent $53 million announcement by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer research and development projects, EERE announced selection of 106 new projects across 26 states, totaling nearly $21.3 million in funding.

The selected small businesses are receiving Phase I grants to demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations during the first phase of their research. Most Phase I awards are $200,000 for a performance period of less than 1 year. Wind energy awards went to:

  • Sanchez Engineering Services of Alexandria, Virginia, to develop a novel remote measurement instrument that uses the principles behind holograms to determine wind velocity and direction for wind turbine control and wind site assessment. The project will complete a conceptual prototype design to validate the method’s cost advantages.
  • Sequent Logic LLC of Logan, Utah, to study the feasibility of specific fiber-optic sensing technologies for monitoring and maintaining subsea cables used to transmit electricity from offshore wind projects.
  • Deep Reach Technology of Houston, Texas, to develop a technology that eliminates the need for boreholes, which are currently used for offshore wind foundations and anchors. If successful, the technology could reduce costs and environmental impacts.
  • Pecos Wind Power of Somerville, Massachusetts, to develop a novel tilt-up tower and installation system for small wind turbine systems that could reduce tower and balance-of-station (e.g., transportation, assembly, and installation) costs.

Wind R&D Newsletter

Just Released: Spring 2020 Wind R&D Newsletter

If you missed the Spring 2020 edition of the Wind Research and Development (R&D) Newsletter, check it out! This issue highlights a new, multimegawatt reference wind turbine available through open-source software; robotic-crawler technology used to inspect wind turbine blades for hidden damage; and WETO efforts to monitor and address the gap in a qualified wind energy industry workforce.

Events and Webinars

International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind

Online: June 11–August 20, 2020

On May 4, the Business Network for Offshore Wind announced that the International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind will be held online August 18–20, to be preceded by a biweekly Livestream webinar series beginning Thursday, June 11. Planned presentation topics from DOE’s National Laboratories include emerging technologies for offshore wind resource characterization, floating technology innovations, large-turbine trends, environmental effects in offshore environments, and workforce development.

Collegiate Wind Competition Virtual Awards Ceremony

Online: Monday, June 22, 2020, 4 p.m.­–5 p.m. ET

Join the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) participants, judges, and organizers for the first-ever CWC virtual awards ceremony held via webinar on Monday, June 22, at 4 p.m. ET. Awards will be given for the project development and turbine design portions of the competition, with remarks by Daniel R Simmons, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Register for the ceremony.

Offshore Wind Turbine Radar Interference Webinar Series

Third Webinar: Monday, June 29, 2020, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. ET

The Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation Working Group invites you to a webinar presenting information on key radar systems most likely to be impacted by offshore wind development, alternative air-traffic control radars and specialty radars, and technical and operational issues regarding each system in an offshore wind environment. This webinar is the third in a series of virtual webinars to discuss offshore wind turbine radar interference mitigation strategies and research needs for offshore wind development that may impact sensitive radar systems. The working group is a consortium of federal agencies comprising DOE, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Register for the webinar by June 28.

AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference 2020

Graduate Hotel | Minneapolis, Minnesota | September 30–October 1, 2020

WETO plans to exhibit alongside DOE National Laboratories at the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference, September 30–October 1, 2020. If you’re in attendance, stop by the DOE booth to learn about DOE-funded research and development to better understand and mitigate wind’s impacts on wildlife and air traffic, weather, and defense radars. DOE will also share community siting resources and information and demonstrate a range of tools.

Register on the American Wind Energy Association’s website.

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