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News and Feature Stories

The following news stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.


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December 2019

Dec. 5, 2019

NREL Researchers Pursue the Biggest Possible Wind Plant Model

Paul Veers, the chief engineer at NREL's National Wind Technology Center, collaborated with technical experts from around the world to develop an end-to-end resource covering every aspect of wind energy design, modeling, and simulation. The resulting two-volume book, which includes NREL contributions to 10 of the 18 chapters, explains the principal elements behind multiple subsystem models that are needed to create a full-system optimization framework.

Dec. 5, 2019

REopt Lite Evolves To Address Shifting User Priorities

New tool features help facility managers weigh costs and benefits of resilience and more.

Dec. 3, 2019

Energy Leadership Program at NREL Accepting Applications for 2020

The program, informally known as Energy Execs, is accepting applications through Jan. 13. Approximately 20 people are chosen each year.

Dec. 2, 2019

Pushing the Boundaries of Land-Based Rotor Growth

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) are searching for ways to maximize the advantages of large-scale rotors and their potential for increased energy generation. Their work as part of DOE's Big Adaptive Rotor (BAR) project aims to create the next generation of land-based wind turbines with 206-meter (m) rotors, which will increase capacity factors by 10% or more over a typical land-based turbine.

Dec. 2, 2019

Getting the Big Picture through Better Data: NREL Creates National Thermal Plant Performance Database for Grid Studies

New collection of historic U.S. power plant efficiency data can be used to more accurately model the integration of variable solar and wind energy on the grid.

November 2019

Nov. 26, 2019

Juliette Ugirumurera: Solving Real-World Computational Problems Between Two Worlds

NREL researcher Juliette Ugirumurera leads simulation efforts for several transportation projects, including Athena, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded, national-lab-led multiyear project aimed at improving the efficiency of transportation hubs through advanced high-performance computing. She was born in Rwanda and came to the United States on a scholarship. She enjoys dancing and hiking in her free time.

Nov. 26, 2019

NREL Awards Announced in Grid Modernization Lab Call

The projects expand the work started in 2016 under DOE’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium and retain the vision of a secure and resilient modern grid.

Nov. 26, 2019

Best of Both Worlds: NREL Optimizes the Control and Design of New Offshore Floating Turbines

NREL and its team of partners and external advisors will incorporate systems control co-design principles--designing and optimizing all system components, including the control system, simultaneously--in a revolutionary toolset to enable offshore floating system engineers to design radically new systems at greatly reduced cost.

Nov. 25, 2019

CyberForce Accelerates the Next Generation of Energy Security Defenders

The CyberForce Competition challenged teams to defend one of four realistic system scenarios while communicating with the other three infrastructures to monitor and maintain the integrity of the system as a whole.

Nov. 22, 2019

Presidential Early Career Award Honors NREL Researcher Mike Wagner

Wagner had been nominated for the award by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office in recognition of 10 years of leadership in concentrating solar power research.

Nov. 19, 2019

Analysis Team Awarded for Studies of NASA-Sited Solar Project

Thanks in part to analyses on how to structure the project for NASA, the Kennedy Space Center will now include a 500-acre solar photovoltaic plant on its western edge. The team received a NASA Group Achievement Award for the effort.

Nov. 19, 2019

Five NREL Scientists Included on List of Highly Cited Researchers

The list, compiled annually by Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science Group, this year ran to 6,216 names selected for "their exceptional influence and performance."

Nov. 18, 2019

Q&A with Sherry Stout: Building Capacity and Collaboration for Energy Resilience

Sherry Stout is an engineer in the Integrated Decision Support group who specializes in addressing energy challenges in rural, remote, and developing communities. We talked with Stout about her work and the importance of coordinated, diverse stakeholder groups in energy planning.

Nov. 18, 2019

Say Hello To Your 2020 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Participants

The U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office announced 15 intrepid collegiate teams to embark on the first-ever Marine Energy Collegiate Competition.

Nov. 18, 2019

NREL and HPE Team Up to Apply AI for Efficient Data Center Operations

Collaborative research effort will apply artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to improve HPC data center operational efficiency.

Nov. 14, 2019

News Release: Waves to Water Prize Concept Winners Announced; Ocean Observing Prize Accepting Applications

NREL administers and executes both prizes on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office.

Nov. 13, 2019

SpiderFLOAT Spins a Web of Offshore Innovation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) innovative SpiderFLOAT technology—named for its modular components that resemble spider legs—has the potential to reduce these costs by simplifying construction and maintenance logistics for deep-water wind systems in challenging offshore marine environments.

Nov. 8, 2019

News Release: NREL Joins Annual CyberForce Competition for First Time

Students from six colleges will be participating at NREL during the Nov. 16 event.

Nov. 6, 2019

Wind Pioneer Paul Veers

NREL Research Fellow Paul Veers learned early that he didn't want to stay on the farm, but instead found the challenge of wind energy and its wind farms a perfect fit.

Nov. 6, 2019

NREL and Energy I-Corps Produce Eco-Plastics, Transportation Tech-to-Market Hopefuls

Two teams from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been selected for the most recent cohort of the U.S. Department of Energy's "boot camp" for national-lab-based startups: Cycle, and HeadCount.

Nov. 5, 2019

New Master's Program Prepares Students to Energize the World

A new master's program in Next-Generation Power and Energy Systems offered by the University of Colorado and featuring instructors from NREL helps students learn about grid modernization-related challenges, such as renewable energy source integration, cybersecurity, and the potential of autonomous energy grids.

Nov. 4, 2019

Former NREL Director Charlie Gay Retires from DOE Solar Program

Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Director Charlie Gay, an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics (PV), retired from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Nov. 1.

Nov. 4, 2019

NREL’s ‘Living Laboratory’ Provides Steppingstones to Real-World Impact

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) hitting the road is increasing, and with that comes a significant challenge: developing and deploying low-cost solutions for public EV charging infrastructure. Partners such as PowerFlex are using NREL's "living laboratory" to find solutions to this and other big energy challenges.

October 2019

Oct. 30, 2019

Creating Resources for Resilience with Cable Broadband Data in New NREL Project

A new project funded by DOE's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response aims to visualize grid events and train computers to classify them in near real time.

Oct. 30, 2019

News Release: NREL Selected for Series of Offshore Wind Turbine Research Projects

NREL was named prime contractor for three projects within ARPA-E's Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program.


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