The biannual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Research and Development (R&D) Newsletter provides recent news about the DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office's R&D projects, news, accomplishments, and recent publications.

Current Research & Development

National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium Hits Full Stride

With 40 offshore wind R&D awards issued so far, the NOWRDC is driving critical innovation in the U.S. offshore wind energy industry

The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC), established in 2018 as a nonprofit public-private partnership, focuses on advancing offshore wind technology in the United States through high-impact research projects and cost-effective, responsible development to maximize economic benefits. The NOWRDC supports research to accelerate the U.S. offshore wind energy industry.

To date, NOWRDC has issued 40 R&D awards, totaling $28.3 million across 25 states. These projects generally focus on three research pillars that aim to guide technical solutions to barriers in the U.S. offshore wind energy industry:

  1. Offshore wind technology advancement
  2. Offshore wind power resource and physical site characterization
  3. Installation, operation and maintenance (O&M), and supply chain.

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The Future of Offshore Wind Is Big—Literally

Larger plant and wind turbine sizes could lead to cost cuts of more than 23%

Offshore wind turbines and wind power plants are getting bigger every year, a trend that already helps offshore wind reduce costs all over the world. But while recent research suggests that costs will continue to dip as wind turbines and plants get bigger, the amount of these potential savings and whether there’s a maximum size where costs plateau remains unclear.

Now, in a recent study published in Applied Energy, researchers from NREL conducted one of the most comprehensive analyses currently available of the average cost per megawatt-hour to develop and maintain offshore wind power plants and how those costs could change if current trends toward larger plants and turbines continue.

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Spotlight on SEER: Awareness for Offshore Wind Energy Development
SEER, the U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research, is designed to shed light on the environmental effects of offshore wind development, identify existing gaps in information, and prioritize future environmental research efforts.
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Proposed Power Plants Point to a Clean-Energy Future
Various energy industry stakeholders are calling for interconnection queue reform. While many projects that apply for interconnection are never built, data from these queues nonetheless provide a glimpse of the types of projects under development.
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Updated Weather Model Captures Subtleties of Cold Pool Events
Weather models have difficulty forecasting the cold, near-ground temperatures in cold pools, resulting in subtle errors that have a big impact on the magnitude and timing of wind power predictions. A new method can cut wind speed errors by as much as 20%.
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DOE Commissions Open-Source Wind Turbine for Wake Control Research
The National Rotor Testbed is an open platform for testing new wind turbine technologies and collaborating among national laboratories to validate advanced computational models for wind turbines. The platform now includes wake control research.
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Resilience Metrics Offer New Ways To Gauge Benefits of Distributed Wind
Distributed wind energy systems have unique characteristics, such as likely threats, geography, stakeholders, risk tolerance, and mitigations. A multilaboratory research team is using resilience metrics to evaluate the benefits of distributed wind.
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Buoys Provide Data about Birds and Bats Offshore
Offshore wind research buoys are equipped with instruments that can take wind speed measurements as high as 250 meters—the height of today’s wind turbines. Results will help wind power plant operators make investment and siting decisions.
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Letter from the Wind Energy Technologies Office Director, Dr. Robert C. Marlay

Offshore WINDPOWER 2021, convening October 13–15, provides a forum for wind energy stakeholders from government, industry, and academia to learn about and hear from a global community of top developers and experts in offshore wind. This year’s conference comes at a time when there is much to be excited about in wind energy in all its forms—offshore, land-based, and distributed. With strong support from leaders across the country, wind energy is on the cusp of a major expansion.

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DOE News

The following is a list of wind energy news from WETO and DOE national laboratories.

DOE Releases New Reports Highlighting Record Growth, Declining Costs of Wind Power
The U.S. Department of Energy today released three reports showing record growth in land-based wind energy, significant expansion of the pipeline for offshore wind projects, and continued decline in the cost of wind energy generation.
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Planning a Wind Energy Project? New WINDExchange Resources Can Help
Learn How Wind Energy Can Create Jobs and Increase Tax Revenue in Your Community
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The North American Renewable Integration Study
The North American Renewable Integration Study (NARIS) assesses opportunities to modernize and decarbonize the North American power system through the integrated planning and operation of generation and transmission infrastructures to meet end-use demand.
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U.S. Secretary of Energy Granholm, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources O’Regan Launch Cooperative Agreement on Clean Energy, Innovation, and Energy Justice
U.S. and Canada also release first-of-a-kind study on the benefits of cross-border grid integration to achieve a carbon-free electricity system in North America.
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Turning Oranges to Apples: A Cutting-Edge Price Comparison for Renewables
A new, comprehensive approach is now available for evaluating renewable energy project revenue and value holistically.
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National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium Announces Offshore Wind Supply Chain Roadmap Project
The purpose of the Supply Chain Roadmap is to present the collective benefits of a domestic supply chain and facilitate the acceleration of the offshore wind industry in the United States.
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Funding News

The following is a list of announcements related to DOE wind energy funding opportunities.

Biden Administration’s Budget Request Calls for Increase across Wind Energy Research Areas
President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget request includes $205 million for the Wind Energy Technologies Office—an increase of nearly 86% over fiscal year 2021 appropriations. The proposed increase would support R&D across wind energy research areas.
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Department of Energy Awards $54 Million to Support American Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced awards totaling $54 million for diverse small businesses working on scientific, clean energy, and climate solutions for the American people.
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DOE Announces 2021 Technology Commercialization Fund Selections
DOE announced $1.95 million in wind-energy-related projects for national labs and their research partners as part of more than $30 million in awards for 68 projects supported by the Office of Technology Transitions Technology Commercialization Fund.
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Department of Energy Awards $127 Million to Bring Innovative Clean Energy Technologies to Market
The U.S. Department of Energy continues to power the clean energy revolution among American small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards totaling $127 million to support 110 innovative projects.
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Featured Publications

The following is a curated list of recent or high-profile publications from WETO and DOE national laboratories.

Explore previous editions of the Wind R&D Newsletter or browse articles by topic: