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.

Letter from the Wind Energy Technologies Office Director, Dr. Robert C. Marlay

Although recent circumstances have introduced an economic pause in some sectors, the U.S. offshore wind industry continues its steady progress toward a robust energy future with several offshore wind projects and related supply-chain investments in various stages of development. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) anticipates this future by focusing its attention on an array of high-priority research and development (R&D) needs, broadly categorized as advanced technology, siting and environmental challenges, and the integration of wind power at scale with the electric grid.

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Current Research & Development

ExaWind Supercharges Wind Power Plant Simulations on Land and at Sea
Suite of open-source, HPC-powered physics codes allows engineers to do everything but collect their mail inside a virtual wind power plant

ExaWind is a confidence builder. Until now, predicting the performance of entire wind power plants was a near-impossible task—from anticipating the various movements of turbine blades to understanding how varying wind conditions and blade motion can impact wind power plant operational efficiency.

Designing and installing wind power plants is an expensive and time-consuming venture, and most current modeling and engineering tools are just not up to the task of tackling the intricacies of wind power plant flow dynamics, particularly in offshore environments. Driven by the immense power of high-performance computing (HPC), ExaWind is an open-source suite of physics codes and libraries that enables multifidelity simulation of wind turbines and wind power plants.

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Wind Turbines with Large Rotors and Tall Towers Provide Double Dividends
Supersized turbines could reduce costs, enhance value of wind energy—and more

Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analyzed the impact of large wind turbines on grid-system value and illustrated the importance of expanding wind turbine design to focus not only on minimizing direct costs, but also on a broader set of factors that impact the value of wind to the electricity grid. Results demonstrate a possible double dividend—that larger rotors (relative to nameplate capacity) and taller towers might not only reduce levelized cost of energy (LCOE) but also enhance the value of wind energy and provide hidden benefits.

Berkeley Lab’s new research addresses that expanded design need. Results demonstrate a possible double dividend—that larger rotors (relative to nameplate capacity) and taller towers might not only reduce LCOE but also enhance the value of wind energy and provide hidden benefits.

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Zeroing In on the No. 1 Cause of Wind Turbine Gearbox Failures
A deeper understanding of bearing axial cracking enables reliability assessments for individual turbines.
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NREL’s Techno-Economic Models Spotlight the Emerging Offshore Wind Opportunity
New open-source tool helps stakeholders assess U.S. offshore wind power plant balance-of-system costs.
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Multiscale Framework Simulates Utility-Scale Wind Power Plant in Its Natural Environment
First-ever simulation could lead to vital understanding of wind power plant performance.
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ThermalTracker-3D Takes Flight
Testing validates system accuracy, provides comprehensive picture of bird and bat activity.
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Exploring Eagle Hearing and Vision Capabilities To Reduce Risk at Wind Farms
University researchers examine eagle physiology to inform and improve eagle deterrents.
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Technology Changes in U.S. Wind Industry Help Slow the Impacts of Aging on Wind Power Plants
First comprehensive study of the U.S. wind fleet shows that the performance of newer plants declines less with age than older plants.
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Collaboration Bolsters Cybersecurity and Resilience for Distributed Wind
Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience & Advanced Controls Launchpad project supports distributed wind industry.
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A Gust-o for Training: Distributed Wind for Federal Agencies
New training covers basics and explains how and where systems could be installed.
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DOE News

The following is a list of wind energy news from WETO and DOE National Laboratories.

Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind Data and Trends Released
DOE Labs released data on 2019 U.S. wind installations, technology trends, costs, and more for the offshore, land-based, and distributed wind sectors.
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Request for Proposals Released for 2022 U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition
Applications for CWC 2022 are being accepted now through December 8, 2020.
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New Study Reviews Additive Manufacturing of Soft Magnets for Wind Turbines
This study highlights the current status of additive manufacturing of magnetic components, such as rotors and stators, for large electrical machines.
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How a Wind Turbine Works
New animation shows how a wind turbine turns wind energy into electricity using the aerodynamic force from the rotor blades.
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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wind Power
Brush up on your knowledge of wind! Get the details on a few of the lesser-known wind energy facts.
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ARIES — a Visionary Energy Research Platform Addressing At-Scale Integration of Energy Systems
Energy Secretary Brouillette announces the launch of the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems platform at NREL.
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U.S. Distributed Wind Manufacturers Selected to Advance Wind Technologies and Grid Support Capabilities through DOE Competitiveness Improvement Project
8 new projects aim to drive down cost of distributed wind energy, improve grid support capabilities, and increase turbine certification testing
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From Concept to Commercialization – Bat Deterrent for Wind Energy Goes Global
For the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office has worked on ways to protect bats at wind farms.
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Celebrating American Wind Week: WETO Shows Wind Is the Answer
As we celebrate American Wind Week, let’s look at some of WETO’s most exciting wind energy research this year.
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Collaboration Is Key for Washington State University Everett Wind Energy Team
WSU Everett’s unique partnership with Everett Community College prepares team for first-time participation in the Collegiate Wind Competition.
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Wind Cybersecurity Roadmap Released
The Roadmap for Wind Cybersecurity outlines the increasing challenges of cyber threats to the wind industry.
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CWC Alum Goes Far with Passion for Renewable Energy
Jane Sandoval enters her master's program this fall with years of energy experience, including her work in DOE's 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.
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EERE Success Story—Beyond Power, Wind Plants Can Provide a Full Suite of Essential Reliability Services to the Grid
Beyond Power, Wind Plants Can Provide a Full Suite of Essential Reliability Services to the Grid
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California State University Maritime Academy and James Madison University Claim Top Awards in First Virtual Collegiate Wind Competition
After four days of intense virtual presentations, the Energy Department announced the winners of the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.
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Funding News

The following is a list of wind energy funding opportunities.

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Issues Second Request for Proposals
Applications are due October 19, 2020, for Round 3: Electrical Systems and Innovation; Technologies To Mitigate Use Conflicts.
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DOE Announces Nearly $53.4 Million in Small Business Research and Development
Two wind energy projects selected among 49 new Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer projects across 23 states.
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DOE Announces 2020 Technology Commercialization Fund Selections
DOE announced selections of more than $33 million in funding for 82 projects supported by the Technology Commercialization Fund.
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National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Announces New Project Awards
National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium announces 12 new research projects, representing an investment of $17.3 million.
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Featured Publications

The following is a curated listing of recent or high-profile publications from WETO and DOE National Laboratories. Visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Technology Resource Center for research reports, publications, data sets, and online tools developed by National Laboratories and their facilities.

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