Skip to main content

@NWTC Newsletter

@NWTC is a quarterly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Wind Technology Center (NTWC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The vision of the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) is to be an essential partner for the technical development and deployment of wind and water power. This newsletter provides information about the NWTC's research and development projects, its accomplishments, upcoming events, and recent publications.

Spring 2015 Issue

Project and Program Updates

Models and Tools

Recent Publications

Fact Sheets

The NWTC produces a number of helpful fact sheets that offer information about the facilities and capabilities available at the wind site. Read more about recently published NWTC fact sheets.

Project and Program Updates

A photo of several round tables with people sitting around them and two screens at the front of the rooms projecting a slide that says 'Third Systems Engineering Workshop.'

Attendees of the Third Systems Engineering Workshop prepare for the day's presentations.

Image showing the various North American electricity grid interconnections, including the Western Interconnection on the left of the map, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Interconnection at the bottom of the map, the Eastern Interconnection on the right of the map, and the Quebec Interconnection, which is at the very top right of the map.

The North American electricity grid interconnections (Western Interconnection on the left), Figure by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation

Photo of the TidGen Power System created by the Ocean Renewable Power Company. The device has horizontal, egg-beater-like blades and is sitting on top of the water's surface, waiting to be installed.

Ocean Renewable Power Company's TidGen Power System, Photo from Ocean Renewable Power Company

A screenshot of the NREL tool called Wind Prospector. The image shows a map of North America with various section highlighted in differing colors to indicate wind prevalence.

Wind speed and wind direction data in the WIND Toolkit can be downloaded using the NREL Wind Prospector.

The illustration shows the various types of offshore wind system configurations and their corresponding depths, starting with land-based turbines, then shallow water turbines, from 0 to 30 meters below the surface, to transitional depths of 30 to 60 meters, to deepwater floating of more than 60 meters below the surface. The illustration also shows that, moving from the land-based turbine on the left to the deepwater floating turbine on the right, the technologies are evolving, starting with commercially proven technologies, to demonstration at the transitional depth, to conceptual development, or deepwater floating.

FAST has the capability of modeling a wide range of offshore wind system configurations including shallow water, transitional depth, and floating systems.

NREL Researchers Advance Wind Energy Systems Engineering

In recent years, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been making progress in multiple avenues of wind systems engineering. This includes the study of how to integrate wind energy engineering and cost models across wind plants, finding the important interactions between various subsystems to achieve a better understanding of how to improve system-level performance and cost reductions, and hosting international, collaborative workshops. More

Report Says Western Grid Can Weather Disturbances under High Renewable Penetrations

A new report finds that with good system planning, sound engineering practices, and commercially available technologies, the Western Interconnection can withstand the crucial first minute after grid disturbances with high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid. More

Guidelines Help Manage Risks and Encourage the Development of Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies

To help reduce the risks of marine and hydrokinetic industry failures and advance the development of current and new technologies at a lower cost and faster pace, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NREL created a framework that provides a risk management methodology to identify and reduce risks during all stages of technology development and particularly prior to demonstration activities. More

Models and Tools

NREL's WIND Toolkit Provides the Data Needed to Conduct Power System Simulations

Researchers who conduct regional wind integration studies in the United States need to perform simulations of how the power system will operate under high-penetration scenarios. The wind data sets that are used in these studies must realistically reflect the ramping characteristics, spatial and temporal correlations, and capacity factors of the simulated wind plants, and must be time-synchronized with available load profiles. NREL is providing a vehicle to meet these requirements: the Wind Integration National Dataset Toolkit. More

FAST Revs Up with a v8

Offshore and land-based wind turbine systems are subject to complex and harsh operating conditions. When designing systems for such conditions, wind technology developers need powerful tools. One such tool is the computer-aided engineering tool called FAST, developed and supported by NREL. The laboratory has recently released an improved and expanded version of FAST that features a new modularization framework that boosts the tool's power, robustness, and flexibility. More

Wind Career Map Shows Wind Industry Career Opportunities, Paths

In 2014, DOE, in conjunction with NREL, created a Wind Career Map—the first of its kind in the wind industry—to inform people interested in wind energy career opportunities. More