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

Current Research & Development


Wind Forecast Improvement Project Saves Millions for Utilities and Customers

Regional wind data from around the U.S. helps improve a national weather forecasting model, which allows utility companies to better plan for windy days.

The wind doesn’t always blow where it’s needed—that’s the biggest hurdle in fitting wind energy to the nation’s renewable energy needs. When the wind isn’t blowing, utility companies must turn to other clean electricity generators, such as solar power or hydropower, or even to fossil fuels. The key to clearing this hurdle is accurate weather forecasts, but weather forecasting isn’t a perfect science. 

To help make weather forecasting more accurate, scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, as well as universities and private industry organizations, to improve weather forecasts. 

Through their work on the Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP), the multiagency research has already helped save utility companies, and their customers, millions of dollars.

“With more accurate wind forecasts at turbine heights, utility companies can more efficiently balance their power generation from various sources, like wind, hydropower, or fossil fuels, and save money," says Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, an Earth scientist at PNNL and principal investigator for WFIP.

Detection Technology Can Help Minimize Wind Turbine Interactions With Birds and Bats
With funding from the Wind Energy Technologies Office, Oregon State University is developing a wildlife detection platform for land-based and offshore wind turbines.
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Wind Energy Equity Research Illuminates Community Perspectives
To support the nation’s Justice40 Initiative and address historical energy inequities across the United States, the Wind Energy Technologies Office is funding community engagement research to create a more just and equitable clean energy future.
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A Ripple Effect: Stakeholders Benefit from Shared Offshore Wind Research
A multiyear project advanced understanding of environmental effects, identified existing information gaps, and described future environmental research efforts needed to responsibly develop offshore wind energy projects in U.S. waters.
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From Wind Turbine Designs to Home Renovations, Brandon Ennis Never Stops Improving
Wind Energy researcher Brandon Ennis shares his career path and how others can get involved in renewable energy in the future.
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Rotating Laser on Texas Wind Turbine to Improve Accuracy of Wind Industry Simulation Tools
A WETO-funded partnership between General Electric, Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is enhancing data collection efforts to improve the accuracy of wind industry simulation tools.
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Award-Winning Open-Source Tool Makes Planning for Future Wind Energy Scenarios a Breeze
The Renewable Energy Potential model can help identify optimal regions for wind plants based on factors like wind resources, land use, topography, and community preferences. It has revealed pathways to Puerto Rico’s clean energy goals.
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Eric Lantz standing among wind turbines
Eric Lantz is the new director of the Wind Energy Technologies Office.

WETO has made some major announcements. Eric Lantz has been named the new director of WETO. Lantz will oversee WETO’s activities, which include conducting foundational research and development, performing annual deep dives into the state of the wind energy industry, organizing competitions and prizes to address critical wind energy challenges, and facilitating the acceleration of wind energy deployment across the country.

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WETO’s Contributions to Wind Energy

Illustrations of wind turbines along winding road.

WETO-funded research has been integral to the advancement of wind energy in the United States. Read our latest case studies in a series highlighting WETO’s historic contributions to wind energy, including wind integration studies that helped wind energy become mainstream, research that led to wind turbine blade breakthroughs enabling more power at lower cost, decades-long support of modeling software, and a program that introduced electric utilities to emerging wind turbine technologies. 

WETO’s interactive animation explores how distributed wind energy could be used in your local community, including in residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and public facilities. Distributed wind energy resources—technologies used to generate, store, and manage energy consumption for nearby energy customers—have the potential to diversify local energy sources to help provide clean renewable energy in your community. 

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DOE News

The following is a list of wind energy news stories.

Thirty-Two Teams Prepare for the 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition
During the first half of the 2023–2024 school year, 32 teams will participate in the 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition to design fixed-bottom offshore wind energy technology.
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New Database Helps Quantify Materials Needed to Support Growth in Wind Energy
The new Renewable Energy Materials Properties Database and accompanying reports could help developers, utilities, and other stakeholders understand how global materials supplies might impact future development of wind energy.
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U.S. Department of Energy Projects Strong Growth in U.S. Wind Power Sector
Three New Wind Energy Market Reports Highlight Growth in Wind Energy Deployment and Domestic Supply Chain, Creating Good-Paying Jobs Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda
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Biden-Harris Administration Releases Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Transmission and Improve Grid Resilience and Reliability
DOE and DOI Release Comprehensive Transmission Action Plan to Unlock America’s Vast Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Announcement Comes During Climate Week 2023 – More than a Dozen Administration Officials on the Ground in NYC
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Study Identifies Needs and Opportunities for West Coast Ports to Support Floating Offshore Wind Energy
Building a system of ports on the West Coast could enable the United States to develop a domestic supply chain and ensure efficient installation and maintenance of floating offshore wind farms, according to a study from NREL.
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Seeing the Light: How Laura Hastings Became a Wind Energy Workforce Champion
Laura Hastings shares a near-death experience that resulted in her unique professional journey in wind energy.
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Funding News

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

Biden-Harris Administration Invests $26 Million to Support a Modern, Reliable, and Resilient American Clean Energy Grid
Selected Projects Across 13 States and Puerto Rico Will Demonstrate How Solar, Wind, and Storage Can Protect and Strengthen America’s Power Grid
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DOE Announces Upcoming $14.5 Million Funding Opportunity to Advance Marine Energy Research at U.S. Colleges and Universities
The Water Power Technologies Office, partnering with the Wind Energy Technologies Office, published a notice of intent for a $14.5 million funding opportunity to support marine energy research at U.S. institutions of higher education.
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DOE Opens $10 Million Program to Improve Planning, Siting, and Permitting for Large-Scale Renewable Energy
$10 million funding and technical assistance program will expand state and local government capacity to support the planning, siting, and permitting of large-scale renewable energy projects on private land
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DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office Selects 15 Projects Totaling $27 Million to Address Key Deployment Challenges for Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind
WETO has selected 15 projects for negotiation for award to lower costs and address barriers to deployment of wind energy, ranging between $500,000 and $4,500,000.
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DOE Releases Funding Opportunity to Reduce Costs of High-Voltage Direct Current Transmission
DOE released a $10 million funding opportunity announcement to fund research to drive innovation and reduce costs of high-voltage direct current.
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Funding Notice: Installation Noise Reduction and Reliable Moorings for Offshore Wind and Marine Energy
$16.4 million funding available for offshore wind and marine energy research and development.
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Featured Publications

Learn more about WETO’s research and development efforts by visiting its Key Publications and Resources page for the latest publications that showcase wind energy advancements and strategic documents that are propelling the industry forward. Additionally, click here to dive into all WETO-funded publications.

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