Catch the Wind: November 2021

Making Connections for Wind Energy

News

DOE Announces Launch of Study to Improve Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) has announced the launch of a comprehensive study of transmission options to support offshore wind development on the U.S. East Coast through 2050. The study will evaluate multiple pathways to offshore wind goals through coordinated transmission solutions, under various combinations of electricity supply and demand, while supporting grid reliability and resilience and ocean co-use.

Photo of offshore wind turbines in the ocean at the Block Island Wind Farm.
Land-Based wind turbine farm.

DOE National Labs Receive R&D 100 Awards for Wind-Related Projects

R&D World magazine has recognized three projects supported by WETO for its 2021 R&D 100 awards, which celebrate innovative products and technologies.

Workshop Report Highlights Research Challenges and Opportunities in Systems Integration

WETO’s 2021 Wind Systems Integration Workshop will inform the office’s renewable systems integration research priorities and accelerate deployment and integration of wind technologies at both the transmission and distribution levels. The workshop report summarizes key research challenges and opportunities identified by workshop participants with a focus on grid services, modeling and decision-support tools, power electronics, and energy equity.

Study Compares 3-D Printing Approaches for Wind Energy Components

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and industry partner Vestas Wind Systems, published a report comparing additive manufacturing—or 3-D printing—processes to produce a component that connects structural beams in the enclosure containing a wind turbine’s energy-generating components (the nacelle). Co-funded by WETO and DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, the study concluded that additive manufacturing could have promise based on future economics and technology advances.

NREL and General Electric Demonstrate Using Wind Turbines to Jump-Start the Grid

Researchers from NREL and General Electric have developed and demonstrated the world’s first Type III utility-scale wind turbine generator, also known as a double-fed induction generator. The turbine can operate in grid-forming mode, meaning it can jump-start the grid during a blackout or operate without the power grid. This new capability could improve grid response to disturbances and even support islanded power grids, creating new market opportunities for this type of wind turbine.

National Lab Researchers Examine Ways to Transport Longer Wind Turbine Blades

Under the WETO-funded Big Adaptive Rotor Project, DOE national laboratory researchers have determined a way to transport massive wind turbine blades to parts of the country at a lower cost. By analyzing five designs, researchers determined that 100-meter blades can be transported as a single-piece by rail if they are designed to be able to bend, or deflect, by 20%.

DOE National Labs Partner with GE to Investigate Physics of Large, Land-Based Turbine Rotors

DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories are partnering with GE to collect field measurements of a 2.8-MW land-based wind turbine operating in Texas. Data collected will allow researchers to evaluate and improve the quality of computer simulations used for wind turbine research, design, and control—in turn enabling more efficient capture of wind resources.

Events

National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium Technical Symposium

Virtual: Nov. 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.

WINDExchange Offshore Wind Webinar: Technology Above the Water

Webinar: Dec. 1, 2021, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST

NREL offshore wind expert Walt Musial will discuss above-water offshore wind technology, including wind turbine technology and wind resource assessments and modeling. Registration will open soon.

American Clean Power Association CLEANPOWER 2021

Tradeshow and Business Development: Dec. 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.

Competitiveness Improvement Project Workshop

Virtual: Three days, December 14, 15, and 16, 2021

DOE will host a Competitiveness Improvement Project three-day workshop from noon-2:30 p.m. Mountain time December 14, 15, and 16. The workshop will provide wind manufacturers interested in applying to CIP solicitations an overview of the process, evaluation criteria, certification requirements, and NREL’s technical support opportunities. Details are forthcoming; in the interim, email NREL’s distributed wind lead Ian Baring-Gould for info.

Distributed Wind 2021 Lobby Day and Business Conference

Conference: Feb. 28–Mar. 3, 2022, 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.

In Case You Missed It

National Lab Wind Researcher Interviewed on Good Morning America

Good Morning America interviewed Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Wind Energy Program Manager Will Shaw as part of a segment about how wind energy can help save the planet. The November 1 story also dives into what wind turbines could mean for U.S. jobs and the economy.

DOE Announces Initiative to Help Communities Develop Clean Energy Transition Approaches

DOE’s recently announced Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program) initiative will provide technical assistance to help 24–36 communities develop community-driven clean energy transition approaches.

Extra! Extra! Read All About Wind R&D!

Check out the Fall 2021 edition of the Wind R&D Newsletter for more detailed updates on WETO R&D projects, accomplishments, and recent publications.

DOE Announces $13.5 Million to Support Sustainable Development of Offshore Wind

DOE recently announced $13.5 million in funding for four projects that will support offshore wind siting and permitting and help reduce the impacts of offshore wind on wildlife and fisheries.