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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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August 2021

Aug. 2, 2021

Lightning No Match for Wind Turbine Blade Protection System

NREL develops lightning protection system for wind turbine blades made of thermoplastic resins and bonded together with NREL's patent-pending thermal welding process.

July 2021

July 30, 2021

NREL Methods Assist Maui in Approaching 100% Renewable Operations

NREL is developing and validating multi-timescale tools that will bring Maui and other systems closer to 100% clean and stable energy futures.

July 30, 2021

Advancing NREL's Capabilities in Cybersecurity and Grid Communications

As group manager of NREL's Secure Cyber-Energy Systems group, Dane Christensen is seeking to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks and severe weather events on the grid.

July 30, 2021

Engaging Autopilot: NREL Explores Automation To Build Better Blades, Lower Costs, and Transform Wind Technology Manufacturing

NREL researchers are charting the course to better quality, lower-cost wind turbine blades through automation.

July 30, 2021

Workshop Presents New Approaches to Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Supply Chains

A workshop hosted by the DOE Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) and NREL brought speakers from the counterintelligence community, national laboratories, and renewable energy industry to share their perspectives on securing power systems of renewables and distributed energy resources.

July 29, 2021

Competitors From Industry Tapped for Drinking Water Challenge

Waves to Water Prize competitors are using their industry expertise to help advance marine energy technologies that could harness the power of ocean waves to produce clean drinking water.

July 29, 2021

Liz Weber, Rising Star in Clean Energy Project Management, Leads High-Impact Projects

JISEA program manager Liz Weber knew in 2010 she was ready to become an environmental leader. She did not know she would become a leading project manager within the U.S. Department of Energy complex.

July 29, 2021

New Financial Analysis Tool for Long-Duration Energy Storage In Deeply Decarbonized Grids

Researchers at NREL have developed a rigorous new Storage Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (StoreFAST) model to evaluate the levelized cost of energy (LCOE), also known as the levelized cost of storage (LCOS).

July 29, 2021

Celebrating NREL Women Advancing Energy Storage

This year, NREL joined the Department of Energy's Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) in celebrating just a few of the women making significant contributions within energy storage programs.

July 28, 2021

Scientists To Develop CO₂-Free Fermentation Technology Amid Surging Demand for Low-Carbon Biofuel

After receiving a nearly $3 million award from the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an NREL-led project will integrate electrochemistry with sugar fermentation to produce lipids used to make biofuels, while avoiding the release of CO₂ into the atmosphere.

July 27, 2021

'Fort Renewable' Shows Benefits of Batteries and Microgrids for Military and Beyond

Early-stage companies used microgrid validations at NREL to size-up commercial systems, and the results have high-impact lessons for the larger grid.

July 27, 2021

Lower Battery Costs, High Value of Backup Power Drive Distributed Storage Deployment

There is economic potential for 490 gigawatts per hour of behind-the-meter battery storage in the United States by 2050, or 300 times today's installed capacity. But only a small fraction could be adopted by customers, according to the latest phase of NREL's Storage Futures Study.

July 26, 2021

Emerson Acquisition of 7AC Propels NREL HVAC Technology to Market

In November 2020, multinational powerhouse Emerson acquired a startup company, 7AC. It was a big deal in the world of cleantech startups—a fairy-tale ending for a startup company whose technology had made it to the HVAC commercial market.

July 22, 2021

JUMP Into STEM Interns Pursue Passions Through Impactful Building Science

2020 JUMP into STEM Final Event competition winners Megan Bush, Zoe Landers, and Vedyun Mishra are supporting impactful research, exploring their passions, and contributing new perspectives to the NREL Building Technologies and Science Center.

July 22, 2021

News Release: NREL Chooses Mortenson To Complete RAIL Facility

The 15,700-square-foot Research and Innovation Laboratory (RAIL) will provide multipurpose lab space for cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, bioscience, and engineering in support of a breadth of energy efficiency and renewable energy research areas.

July 21, 2021

Going the Way of T-Rex: Life Cycle Waste and Emissions in Construction Material Manufacturing

REMADE Institute awards NREL and partners $1.4 million to address construction material manufacturing supply chain needs.

July 21, 2021

Multiyear NREL Study Uses Digital Twin of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport To Inform Long-Term Investments at Major Transportation Hubs

Now in the third year of the Athena project, the team has published a series of three journal articles sharing key results on shuttle bus route optimization and expanded parking choices to improve energy use and reduce operational costs at airports.

July 21, 2021

Using Direct Lithium Extraction To Secure U.S. Supplies

NREL is driving innovation in geothermal lithium extraction through research, expertise, and prize incentives.

July 20, 2021

NREL Open-Source Modeling Approach Cracks the Code of Simulating Low-Inertia Power Systems

The United States has 37 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar capacity--enough to power over 4,070,000,000 LED lights--with an impressive additional 112 GW of capacity currently under development.

July 19, 2021

News Release: NREL Elevates Two to Prestigious Senior Research Fellow Roles

NREL elevated two principal scientists to the position of senior research fellow, Joseph Berry and Ingrid Repins, who, along with the current research fellows, will advise NREL executive management on the strategic direction of science and technology research and ensure NREL's work continues to meet the highest standards.

July 19, 2021

Charging Infrastructure Analysis Leverages NREL Data Science Expertise

Leveraging its data science expertise and state-of-the-art modeling and analysis tools, NREL is helping the California Energy Commission pinpoint the number of electric vehicle chargers needed to meet the state’s ambitious zero-emission vehicle and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

July 15, 2021

University Researchers Dive Into Water Desalination Challenge

In the Waves to Water Prize, competitors from academia are part of the diverse set of pioneers dipping their feet in the water by introducing, expanding, and evolving what is possible for marine energy.

July 15, 2021

News Release: Analysis Shows Enzyme-Based Plastics Recycling Is More Energy Efficient, Better for Environment

Researchers in the BOTTLE Consortium, including from NREL and the University of Portsmouth, have identified using enzymes as a more sustainable approach for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic in single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and food packaging.

July 15, 2021

Microstructure Analysis ToolBox Changes the Game for Heterogeneous Material Modeling

Microstructure-scale modeling carried out by NREL over the past five years has culminated in the newly released Microstructure Analysis ToolBox (MATBOX) dedicated to the meshing, numerical generation, segmentation, and characterization of three-dimensional heterogeneous materials, such as battery electrodes.

July 15, 2021

NREL, First Solar Celebrate Nearly 30 Years of Collaboration on Cadmium Telluride Solar Cell Research

NREL and First Solar Inc. have been collaboratively breaking ground on thin film solar technology for more than two decades, helping NREL fulfill its goal as a DOE national laboratory of commercializing technology through partnerships, and contributing to First Solar's success in development, manufacturing, and operation of photovoltaic (PV) power plants with technology that still bucks industry trends.

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