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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 2011

December 30, 2011

Hawai'i Interactive Maps Website Showcases Renewable Energy Projects

NREL worked with the state's Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism to develop an interactive maps website that highlights more than 40 clean energy projects.

December 30, 2011

Largest Wind Farm in Alaska Moving Forward

The 11-turbine, commercial-scale wind farm now under construction on Fire Island—three miles west of Anchorage, Alaska—is the product of many organizations' efforts, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NREL.

December 30, 2011

St. Thomas Airport Installs Largest Solar Project in U.S. Virgin Islands

Solar energy is making its mark in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), as evidenced by the large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas.

December 27, 2011

Retailers Checking 'Nice' on Energy Savings List

NREL is working with the nation's commercial building owners to discover new and innovative ways to reduce energy use.

December 21, 2011

Wind and Wildlife Interactions: A WPA Webinar

This webinar provided an overview of wind turbine and wildlife issues, including a summary of research plans by the American Wind and Wildlife Institute, an update of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wind regulations, and bat/wind turbine interactions.

December 20, 2011

NREL Licenses Technology to Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced today that Natcore Technology Inc. has been granted a patent license agreement to develop a line of black silicon products.

December 20, 2011

Thermal Energy Storage Included in California Power Purchase Agreements

The value of thermal energy storage in concentrating solar power plants has become obvious?so much so that BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Southern California Edison have rewritten some power purchase agreements to include thermal energy storage in plans for three solar power tower plants.

December 20, 2011

Arizona Wind for Schools Team Installs Turbine at Northern Arizona University

The wind turbine will provide power to Northern Arizona University's (NAU's) Applied Research and Development building and the turbine data will be used in NAU classes and by K-12 schools across the state.

December 19, 2011

Cross Island Farms Enjoys a Renewable Energy Harvest: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The farm's owners have enjoyed their second consecutive month of being credited kilowatt-hours of electricity from their local utility. Projects like this demonstrate how distributed renewables can work in a real-life application.

December 15, 2011

NREL Scientists Report First Solar Cell Producing More Electrons In Photocurrent Than Solar Photons Entering Cell

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported the first solar cell that produces a photocurrent that has an external quantum efficiency greater than 100 percent when photoexcited with photons from the high energy region of the solar spectrum.

December 15, 2011

U.S. Small Wind Market Report: 144,000 Turbines Deployed: Community and Small Wind Webinar Series

A webinar examining the market for clean, affordable, homegrown wind energy and recent growth in sales, capacity, and incentives for small wind turbines (up to 100 kW) powering homes, farms, and businesses.

December 14, 2011

Wind Power Economics: Past, Present, and Future Trends: A WPA Webinar

This webinar featured three related presentations that explore historical trends and provide insight on what the future may hold.

December 14, 2011

Tiny Solar Cell Could Make a Big Difference

Semprius is building a factory in North Carolina to make solar power modules after a fruitful partnership with NREL.

December 13, 2011

NREL Employees Recognized by Industry Peers

Trade media and industry groups recently have honored several employees at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for contributions to advancing renewable energy research and furthering their professions.

December 13, 2011

NREL Adds Electric Vehicle to its Advanced Vehicle Fleet

NREL will use the new electric vehicle for studies related to charge management and performance, bi-directional charging, and electric vehicle grid integration.

December 12, 2011

Energy Department Awards More Than $7 Million for Innovative Hydrogen Storage Technologies in Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

These projects will help lower the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks for efficient and safe transportation.

December 9, 2011

Saving Farmland One Wind Energy Project at a Time

Rich VanderVeen, president of Mackinaw Power, LLC in Michigan talks about wind power being an important wealth-building second crop for American farmers.

December 7, 2011

NREL Releases Report on Testing Electric Vehicles to Optimize their Performance with Power Grids

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released a technical report that could help improve the performance of electric vehicles (EVs) and the efficiency of the electric utility grids that power them.

December 6, 2011

Update: U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program Funding Awards

In May 2009, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the selection of 53 new wind energy projects for up to $8.5 million in funding. Project updates are available.

December 6, 2011

Atlantic Wind Energy Workshop Report, Presentations Available

A report and presentations from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Atlantic Wind Energy Workshop are now available.

December 6, 2011

New Lab to Help Utilities 'See' Grid of the Future

NREL tackles the challenge of keeping the decades old power grid running reliably while adding new clean technologies.

December 6, 2011

Thermal Energy Storage in CSP Plants Could Boost Penetration of Solar, Wind Power

The ability of concentrating solar power plants with thermal energy storage to provide power on a continual and flexible basis may be key to helping all types of solar and wind power to penetrate the grid. That's one conclusion of a new report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

December 6, 2011

DOE Launches Comprehensive Hydrogen Storage Materials Clearinghouse

Free access resource aims to accelerate advanced materials research and development

December 5, 2011

Helping Cleantech Start-ups with Strategic Messaging

The Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED) at U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) invites cleantech entrepreneurs to attend the next event in its Entrepreneur Series.

December 2, 2011

DOE and Partners to Host Webinar December 7: Fuel Cells and Telecom–Reports from the Field

The webinar will focus on fuel cell applications for primary or backup power for telecommications switch nodes, cell towers, and other electronic systems that benefit from onsite power.

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