Research & Development Feature

Rapidly Deployable Wind Turbines Could Support Military Operations and Disaster Relief

In war and disaster zones, military and disaster-response organizations need quick and reliable power to succeed. Diesel-powered generators are convenient and easy to operate but require a steady stream of liquid fuel; shipments can come with steep emissions on top of the extra costs and risks. Over the last 4 years, a team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Idaho National Lab, with funding from the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), explored deployable wind turbine systems using standard shipping containers.

As a final step in the project, the research team hosted a workshop in June 2022 for wind turbine suppliers to meet their potential customers: military and disaster-response organizations. After receiving positive feedback, the wind energy industry will further validate the designs, and some lower-risk trials are already planned to help bring easily and rapidly deployable renewable energy to remote locations.

Shane Beichner in military uniform.

Clean Energy Champions

A Veteran’s Perspective: From the Fight on the Battlefield to the Fight for a Clean Energy Future

This edition’s Clean Energy Champion is our own Shane Beichner, a former infantryman who now serves as the operations manager for WETO. He served from 2002 to 2005 with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division but now finds himself fighting a new battle—one against climate change.

Learn about his transition from the military to a career in clean energy.

News

Navigate Tough Holiday Table Conversations on Wind Energy with This Helpful Guide

Let’s face it—conversations around the holiday dinner table aren’t always a breeze. But this holiday season, we have you covered on some wind-energy-related hot topics that could come up at your table and prep you with research-backed responses and resources. Our holiday editorial is packed with an arsenal of knowledge at your fingertips, with topics on how wind energy benefits the economy, what DOE is doing to support wind turbine coexistence with wildlife and the environment, and plenty more. Breathe easy and dig in!

Topics for Upcoming Small Business Funding Opportunity Have Been Released 

An upcoming Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs funding opportunity is planned to be released Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. WETO is supporting an open call and invites applications for technology innovations that address technology gaps for distributed, land-based, and offshore wind energy. Interested applicants should also focus on wind power’s potential to generate electricity in all 50 states while being cost competitive with other sources of generation.

More information on the Fiscal Year 2023 SBIR/STTR topics is available on the Office of Science website. Learn more about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s SBIR and STTR programs.

$10 Million DOE Investment Empowers Communities

DOE announced three projects under the Energyshed funding program, funded in part by WETO, that will help empower communities by identifying the potential impacts and benefits of locally based energy generation, including new clean energy projects. Projects teams will develop and test tools in urban and rural areas in Alaska, Georgia, and Vermont that help communities understand their energy needs and prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in energy planning. Learn more about the projects and read the press release about these and other recent DOE awards.

A First-Of-Its-Kind Document Helps Establish Guidance for U.S. Offshore Wind Energy

The Offshore Compliance Recommended Practices: 2022 Edition was approved earlier this year and will help the nation keep up with its fast-moving clean energy goals by boosting U.S. offshore wind development efficiency. The document, a product of a 5-year industry collaboration involving DOE and led by the NREL, will help speed up offshore wind energy development, shorten regulatory timelines, and increase worker safety. Learn more on NREL’s website.

Heard on the Radio: Is Offshore Wind the Answer to a Greener Future?

With a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, the Biden administration has a domestic offshore wind industry playing a key role in meeting its broader decarbonization goals and creating good-paying clean energy jobs. National Public Radio’s Leila Fadel spoke with engineer Amy Robertson of NREL about the push to drastically increase U.S. offshore wind production to help the nation transition to a clean energy future. Listen on National Public Radio’s website.

WETO Is Hiring!

A new job opportunity has just blown in. WETO is looking to fill a Management and Program Analyst position in either Golden, CO, or Washington, D.C. The person hired will manage WETO’s workforce development, STEM, and state and local portfolio. Get detailed information on this role and while you’re at it, check out all open roles for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The deadline to submit applications for WETO’s Management and Program Analyst position is Nov. 25, 2022, or when we have received 75 applications.

Events

National Offshore Wind Research and Development Symposium 2022

Workshop: Dec. 5–6, 2022, Boston, MA, and Virtual

This 2-day conference will showcase the DOE-funded National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium’s impressive project portfolio, featuring keynote talks, including DOE’s Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, and project presentation panels organized around technical challenge areas. If you can’t make it to Boston’s Northeastern University for the event, tune in virtually on Hopin!

2023 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2 Webinar

Webinar: Dec. 16, 2022

DOE will host a webinar on an upcoming SBIR/STTR funding opportunity, planned to be released Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, that will address technology gaps for distributed, land-based, and offshore wind energy. The webinar will take place on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Look out for the link a week before! Check out the topics on the SBIR website.

Distributed Wind 2023

Conference: Feb. 27–March 1, 2023, Arlington, VA, and Virtual

Let’s talk distributed wind energy! Learn about new technology, services, and business opportunities from industry experts and federal leaders regarding the distributed wind industry. Whether you attend in person or virtually, this event will make a meaningful contribution to your distributed wind energy portfolio. Head over to the Distributed Wind Energy Association’s website to browse the preliminary agenda.

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

Conference: March 22–24, 2023, Washington, D.C.

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. Check out ARPA-E’s website to register.

In Case You Missed It

  • DOE announced a forthcoming $28 million funding opportunity that will address wind energy deployment barriers.
  • NREL released a new study finding substantial opportunity to grow the U.S. offshore wind energy workforce.
  • DOE released its Fall 2022 Wind R&D Newsletter!
  • DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy hosted a workshop for State Energy Officials to help them learn about siting and planning for renewable energy, especially wind and solar.
  • DOE's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is seeking public input on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote U.S. communities. The deadline for submissions is 12 p.m. ET on Dec. 5, 2022.
  • DOE requested information on research needs for floating offshore wind energy mooring and anchoring systems. The deadline to submit responses is 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 19, 2022.
  • The deadline to submit applications for Phase 1 of the FLoating Offshore Wind ReadINess (FLOWIN) Prize is 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 13, 2023.