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Research & Development Feature

Distributed Wind Energy Brings Value to Remote and Rural Communities

Thanks to the 4-year Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (or MIRACL) project, researchers have quantified distributed wind energy’s many benefits—from energy cost savings to enhanced resilience—for communities across the United States.

The data from the collaborative team of researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sandia National Laboratories, and Idaho National Laboratory verified that distributed wind energy could be a cost-effective source of clean power and could also build resilience into smaller or hybrid power systems, like microgrids or isolated grids, even if they’re threatened by cold snaps, natural disasters, or cyberattacks.

News

DOE Announces $6.5 Million to Improve Reliability of Grid-Enhancing Technologies

DOE’s Office of Electricity, WETO, and Solar Energy Technologies Office have issued a new funding opportunity to help accelerate grid-enhancing technologies that can facilitate renewable energy, like dynamic line rating and power flow controllers. This opportunity is available to applicants who will conduct research, development, and demonstrations for innovative approaches that demonstrate real-world benefits and usage of grid-enhancing technologies, with the intention of leading industry adoption of next-generation grid-enhancing tools and technologies that are not widely available today. 

The deadline to submit concept papers is 8 p.m. ET on March 16, 2023.

WETO Is Hiring a Director!

Are you a Clean Energy Champion looking to change the world? WETO is looking to hire a new director, so now is your chance! The person hired will be expected to exercise full managerial authority over the Office; lead the planning, research, development, and deployment strategies for WETO’s programs; and provide wind energy technology assessments and analyses—to name just a few of the many responsibilities that help keep WETO afloat. ⛵

Get more information about this role and check out other available roles in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The deadline to submit job applications for WETO’s director position is 11:59 p.m. ET on March 28, 2023. May the winds be in your favor!

This Technology Prioritizes the Safety of Birds and Bats During Offshore Wind’s Expansion

Before offshore wind energy developers can begin developing and siting wind farms, they must first have solid data to support environmental permitting to protect birds and bats. Enter the ThermalTracker-3D, a thermal stereo-vision technology developed by PNNL engineers and supported by WETO that can quantify the flight activity of birds and bats at remote locations targeted for offshore wind farm development. The system is easily integrated with offshore platforms, such as buoys, substations, or turbines.

DOE Launches Funding Opportunity for Clean Energy in Rural or Remote Communities

DOE announced $300 million for projects that increase energy affordability and promote climate resilience and $15 million for a prize competition to help rural communities build the capacity needed for clean energy development and deployment. These two new funding opportunities support the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas program, which aims to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities with a population of 10,000 or fewer across the country. The deadline to submit concept papers for the $300 million funding opportunity is 5 p.m. ET on April 14, 2023, and the deadline to submit applications for the first phase of the prize is May 24, 2023

Apply for a Clean Energy to Communities In-Depth Partnership

Clean Energy to Communities In-Depth Partnerships is a multiyear DOE program that helps communities develop realistic road maps to achieve their clean energy goals and/or address key challenges. The four to five partnerships include program funding ranging from $500,000 to $3 million, as well as access to modeling, innovative testing, and other technical assistance from DOE’s national laboratories. Applications are due May 17, 2023.

Anthony Lopez smiles in front of a graph backdrop.

Meet Clean Energy Champion Anthony Lopez

For this edition’s Clean Energy Champion, WETO honors NREL’s Anthony Lopez. A geospatial data scientist and senior researcher, Lopez was recently named the Most Promising Scientist by Great Minds in STEM, a prestigious award that honors the highest-achieving scientists and engineers from the Hispanic community across the United States.

It only takes a brief glance at his resume to understand why—from leading efforts to model wind and solar energy supply with land-use constraints to giving back to the community that raised him by mentoring young students in clean energy career possibilities, Lopez is a positive force to be reckoned with.

Events

Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Stakeholder Workshop

Workshop: March 22, 2023, 12 pm–4pm ET, Virtual

Join DOE and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the final Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Stakeholder Workshop. This stakeholder workshop will discuss the agencies’ findings following the convening workshop series, preview the preliminary results from the Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study, and provide opportunities for public comment.

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

Conference: March 22–24, 2023, National Harbor, MD 

This 3-day conference and technology showcase brings together experts from multiple disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges. Innovation is the name of the game at this event as we aim to move transformational energy technologies from the lab to the market. 

2023 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum

Conference: March 28–30, 2023, Baltimore, MD

Hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, this 3-day offshore wind energy conference will consist of panels and presentations that will bring together the global offshore wind industry and offer the latest in educational content. Stop by DOE’s booth, #640, to learn about WETO’s latest DOE-funded research and newest offshore wind energy initiatives. 

 CLEANPOWER 2023 Conference and Exhibition 

Conference: May 22–25, 2023, New Orleans, LA 

The American Clean Power Association’s annual conference will feature panels, presentations, workshops, and poster sessions on the renewable energy industry, including land-based wind energy, offshore wind energy, distributed wind energy, solar power, energy storage, and transmission. Be sure to stop by DOE’s booth, #1623, to discuss all the latest wind R&D with our team! Find more information on the event website.

American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2023

Conference: Sept. 26–27, 2023, Portland, ME, and Virtual

This 2-day conference brings together industry, academia, and government floating offshore wind experts from around the world to chart a course for domestic floating offshore wind energy. Whether in person or virtually, join this event to participate in discussions on the technical, regulatory, and permitting challenges that must be addressed to unlock floating offshore wind energy’s significant potential.

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