National Wind Technology Center

NREL's Flatirons Campus provides research facilities and resources for wind energy, water power, and grid integration. Photo by Dennis Schroeder 

NREL's Flatirons Campus is the nation’s premier wind energy, water power, and grid integration research facility.

Wind Energy Research

Wind turbine blade

Wind energy research at the Flatirons Campus allows for validation and verification of large and small components and wind turbine systems. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

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

Hydropower dam

Water power research at the Flatirons Campus contributes to the advancement of hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic energy in the United States. Photo by Sarah Wagoner, NREL

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

Photo of a man working on a PV system that is mounted on the ground.

The Flatirons Campus’s Controllable Grid Interface provides grid operators with performance information in a fraction of the time required to test a turbine in the field. Photo from Mark McDade

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.

Learn More

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.