NREL's Flatirons Campus is the nation’s premier wind energy, water power, and grid integration research facility.
Wind Energy Research
NREL's wind energy research at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), located on the Flatirons Campus, has pioneered wind turbine components, systems, and modeling methods that have driven the industry’s acceleration over the past 40 years. Research into land-based, offshore, and distributed wind includes:
Analyzing offshore wind energy needs in the United States
Designing, researching, and validating advanced wind power plant control systems
Developing computer-aided engineering tools to support distributed and small wind development.
Water Power Research
NREL's water power program research validates, evaluates, develops, and demonstrates hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy systems at the Flatirons Campus. Research efforts undertaken at NREL include:
Validating the performance and reliability of marine and hydrokinetic components
Looking at primary hydropower cost drivers to evaluate cost-reduction pathways.
Grid Integration Research
Analysts at NREL’s Flatirons Campus work with the U.S. Department of Energy, universities, independent systems, and regional transmission organizations to provide data and models to assist in managing wind grid system integration. NREL efforts include:
Designing, analyzing, modeling, and operating wind remote sensing, or measurement, for improved wind plant operations
Developing a validation system that reduces certification time and costs.
Facilities at the Flatirons Campus include:
Field research validation sites with six wind turbines and four meteorological towers
Three dynamometers for assessing wind turbine drivetrains and water power-take-off systems
Structural research facilities, which verify blades and components
The Controllable Grid Interface, which provides grid operators with valuable performance information.
The Flatirons Campus offers a number of partnership opportunities. Industry-government collaborations work to advance wind energy science and lower the cost of wind-generated electricity. Learn more about partnering with NREL.