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2015 News Releases

Access news stories about the laboratory and renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

June 15, 2015

NREL Partnerships to Help the Grid Accommodate More Renewable Energy

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announces five new partnerships that will award up to $6.5 million in federal funds to technical teams throughout the country. The cost-shared projects with industry, universities, and other stakeholders will address the challenge of enabling the nation’s electric grid to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy.

June 8, 2015

NREL, Clemson University Collaborate on Wind Energy Testing Facilities

Two of our nation’s most advanced wind energy research and test facilities have joined forces to help the wind energy industry improve the performance of wind turbine drivetrains and better understand how the turbines can integrate more effectively with the electrical grid.

June 4, 2015

NREL’s Economic Impact Tops $872 Million

The economic impact of the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was $872.3 million nationwide in fiscal year 2014, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

May 16, 2015

Winners for NREL’s 25th Solar and Lithium Ion Car Races

Sixty-three teams from 17 Colorado middle schools gathered at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton today for the 25th Annual Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium Ion Battery car competitions. The day’s event drew nearly 200 students eager to show and race the solar- and lithium ion-battery powered vehicles they designed and built. The trophy for fastest solar powered model car was given to students from Stargate School (Thornton), “SG Solar 2.” The trophy for fastest lithium-ion powered model car was given to students from Bell Middle School (Golden), “BMS 2 Battery.”

May 14, 2015

NREL Supports China PV Investment and Financing Alliance to Open Capital for Solar Deployment

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the China PV Investment and Finance Alliance (CPVFA) have formed a collaboration with the goal of opening wide-scale and diverse sources of investment for solar photovoltaic (PV) asset development in China.

May 7, 2015

NREL Staff Recognized for Top Innovations as Lab Celebrates Record Patent Year

Today during its annual Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recognized the professionals behind the lab’s greatest innovations from the past year. NREL also celebrated the 43 U.S. patents issued in fiscal year 2014 (FY14), which is the largest number in lab history—nearly three times more than the previous year.

May 4, 2015

INL and NREL Demonstrate Power Grid Simulation at a Distance

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have successfully demonstrated the capability to connect grid simulations at their two labs for real time interaction via the Internet. This new inter-lab capability enables the modeling of power grids in greater detail by allowing software and equipment anywhere in the world to establish a real-time connection to the unique facilities and capabilities available within the DOE national laboratory complex.

April 29, 2015

NREL Announces Participants for Executive Energy Leadership Program

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected 21 leaders to participate in its 2015 Executive Energy Leadership program (Energy Execs), which empowers executives to integrate clean energy solutions in their communities.

April 27, 2015

NREL Report Estimates Market Potential of Shared Solar and Discusses Relevant Securities Regulations

Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020.

April 14, 2015

NREL Releases Report Describing Guidelines for PV Manufacturer Quality Assurance

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released an updated proposal that will establish an international quality standard for photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. The document is intended for immediate use by PV manufacturers when producing modules on an industrial scale so they can increase investor, utility, and consumer confidence in PV system performance.

April 6, 2015

NREL Fills Key Leadership Role for Energy Systems Security and Resilience

Dr. Erfan Ibrahim has joined the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as director of Cyber Physical Systems Security and Resilience for NREL’s Energy Systems Integration directorate. This critical area of research and development addresses the challenges of integrating clean energy sources into the national energy infrastructure.

March 31, 2015

Industry-backed Best Practices Guides Aim to Lower Financing Costs for Solar Energy Systems

The Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group has released new best practices guidelines for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, with the goal of increasing investor confidence in the long-term viability of PV systems. The guides — SAPC Best Practices in PV System Installation and SAPC Best Practices in PV Operations and Maintenance — were developed by SAPC subcommittees, each involving dozens of solar and finance entities.

March 19, 2015

NREL Director Announces His Retirement

Dr. Dan E. Arvizu today announced that he intends to retire at the end of September from his role as the Director and Chief Executive of the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

March 9, 2015

NREL Tool Finds Effective Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Configurations

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has used the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) to confirm that energy storage for demand-charge management can deliver attractive economic benefits. The analysis paired recent utility rate structures with historic data on solar photovoltaic electricity generation and commercial facility loads to evaluate 6,860 unique scenarios. The results revealed that, in the absence of incentives, small battery systems reducing peak demand by 2.5 percent offer the most attractive return on investment.

February 26, 2015

NREL Refines Method to Convert Lignin to Nylon Precursor

A new study from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrates the conversion of lignin-derived compounds to adipic acid, an important industrial dicarboxylic acid produced for its use as a precursor to nylon, plasticizers, lubricants, polyesters, and other popular products and chemicals.

February 12, 2015

Testing at NREL Aids Solar Power in Hawaii

Inverter load rejection overvoltage (LRO) tests completed by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of a cooperative research agreement with SolarCity have proven so successful that a testing partner, Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), has proposed to double its hosting capacity for solar energy.

February 11, 2015

NREL Takes First In-Depth Look at Solar Project Completion Timelines

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has gathered and analyzed data for more than 30,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations across the United States to better understand how interconnection regulations align with actual project completion timelines. The findings indicate that interconnection process delays are common, and can range from several days to months. Streamlining the application review and final authorization processes can ultimately benefit utilities and solar consumers by reducing the time and cost associated with going solar.

February 4, 2015

New Incubator Network to Help Clean-Energy Entrepreneurs

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. The program, funded by the Energy Department, aims to improve the performance of clean energy business incubators, connect critical industry and energy sector partners, and advance clean energy technologies emerging from universities and federal laboratories.

January 21, 2015

NREL Reports Examine Economic Trade-offs of Owning versus Leasing a Solar Photovoltaic System

Two new reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems. NREL analysts found that businesses that use low-cost financing to purchase a photovoltaic (PV) system and homeowners who use solar-specific loans can save up to 30 percent compared with consumers who lease a PV system through a conventional third-party owner.

January 20, 2015

NREL Releases the 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book, Detailing Increases in Installed Capacity

The newly released 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book illustrates United States and global energy statistics, including renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data and trends. The Data Book is produced and published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

January 19, 2015

NREL Scientist Brian Gregg Named AAAS Fellow

Brian Gregg, a scientist at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS cited Gregg for “distinguished contributions to the field of solar photoconversion, particularly for developing a unified understanding of the photoconversion mechanism in the various cell types.”

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