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 2012

Dec. 31, 2012

NREL Leads Wind Farm Modeling Research

Researchers study the atmosphere surrounding large turbines to optimize performance.

Dec. 31, 2012

Case Study: Pearl Road Auto Parts, Cleveland, Ohio

Pearl Road Auto Parts installed a 120-kilowatt refurbished Vestas V20 wind turbine. Prior to the installation, a typical monthly winter electric bill was $2,200. The turbine provides approximately 80% of the electricity for the business. In February 2011, the electric bill was $200.

Dec. 30, 2012

NREL NOVA Analyses for Federal Agencies In FY 2013

In fiscal year (FY) 2012,the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offered NREL's Optimal Vehicle Acquisition (NOVA) analyses to interested Federal agency fleets. FEMP will again be offering agency-wide vehicle acquisition assistance to national Federal fleet managers in FY 2013.

Dec. 29, 2012

NREL's Technical Assistance Teams Jump START Energy Projects in Alaska

Technical experts from NREL scored big wins recently in supporting some of the five Alaska Native Tribes selected by DOE's Office of Indian Energy (DOE-IE) to receive on-site renewable energy and energy efficiency technical assistance.

Dec. 28, 2012

Award-Winning PV Cell Pushes Efficiency Higher

NREL and Solar Junction outsmart the solar spectrum and set a world record with a 44%-efficient solar cell.

Dec. 28, 2012

Clean Cities YouTube Channel Offers Videos on Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles

The NREL-developed Clean Cities YouTube channel offers informative videos that can help vehicle fleet managers and transportation decision makers reduce petroleum use by gleaning insight from a variety of alternative transportation topics.

Dec. 28, 2012

Alaska Natives Benefit from First-Ever Community Energy Development Workshop

As Alaska Native villages prepared for winter and the intensified energy challenges the season will bring, NREL contributed to an Alaska Native Community Development workshop focused on solutions to those challenges.

Dec. 21, 2012

NREL Names New Executive

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory today named Barbara Goodman as Associate Laboratory Director for Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Systems to replace Dale Gardner who is retiring at the end of the year.

Dec. 20, 2012

Concentrated Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage Can Help Utilities' Bottom Line, Study Shows

The storage capacity of concentrating solar power (CSP) can add significant value to a utility company's optimal mix of energy sources, a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) suggests.

Dec. 20, 2012

Water Conservation Just One of Many Reasons to Support Wind Energy

Dan McGuire, American Corn Growers Foundation consultant discusses rural economic development impacts of wind energy including jobs and tax renenues as well as water conservation.

Dec. 18, 2012

Illinois Wind for Schools Program Accepting Applications for 2013-2014 Program

Three to five middle and/or high schools are selected each academic year as Illinois Wind for Schools partner schools for intensive support through on-site teacher training and classroom resources.

Dec. 17, 2012

U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative Launches Offshore WindHub

With offshore wind energy poised to join the U.S. energy production mix, the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative recently released its Offshore WindHub, an information portal designed for stakeholders in this developing U.S. market.

Dec. 17, 2012

Colorado's Huerfano County Welcomes Wind Energy Development: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The 29-MW project consists of 16 Vestas wind turbines that were manufactured in Colorado. County officials say the project will provide Huerfano County with $80,000 to $120,000 annually in tax revenue, which will help the county tax base.

Dec. 17, 2012

Award-Winning A/C Uses Old Idea, New Materials

NREL's DEVAP cooling system works in any climate while saving up to 80% on energy use.

Dec. 14, 2012

NREL and Johnson Matthey Announce Five-Year Collaboration on Biofuels

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will partner with Johnson Matthey, a global specialty chemicals company, in a five-year, $7 million effort to economically produce drop-in gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from non-food biomass feedstocks, the federal laboratory announced today.

Dec. 13, 2012

NREL Employees and Managing Partner Pledge $500,000 to Aid Area Charities

The employees of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, have pledged more than $500,000 to support local charities during the lab's annual holiday giving campaign.

Dec. 12, 2012

Energy Department Announces New U.S. Offshore Wind Projects Investments

As part of the Energy Department's broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, these engineering, design, and deployment projects will support innovative offshore installations in state and federal waters for commercial operation by 2017.

Dec. 12, 2012

Western Illinois University Installs Small Wind Turbine

The wind turbine serves as a curriculum resource while addressing sustainability goals as part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' Illinois Wind for Schools project.

Dec. 5, 2012

New Report Shows Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Industry Supported by Federal Investments

A new report focuses on how advanced fuel cell technologies are helping American businesses reduce their energy costs and are driving new market opportunities in the United States.

Dec. 4, 2012

Wind Wildlife Research Meeting Presents Latest Findings

Leading scientists on wind energy and wildlife from around the world convened to share their latest findings and evaluate progress in understanding and addressing wind energy's potential impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Dec. 4, 2012

NREL Teams with Berkeley Lab to Analyze Solar Pricing Trends and Benchmark "Soft" Costs for PV Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) jointly released two reports examining solar photovoltaic (PV) pricing in the U.S.

Dec. 3, 2012

CEMEX Wind Turbine Project Case Study

CEMEX' sustainable operations strategy increases the use of renewable energy sources in operations, replaces traditional fuels with carbon-neutral alternatives, and explores new carbon-reduction options. CEMEX commissioned a GE 1-megawatt wind turbine at its quarry in Madison, California.

November 2012

Nov. 30, 2012

NREL Analysis Calculates Value of Thermal Energy Storage for Concentrating Solar Power

A new report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides an analysis of concentrating solar power integrated with thermal energy storage, using simulations created by recognized, commercially available software. The analysis quantifies the incremental operational value of CSP with TES in multiple scenarios, and will help utilities, grid operators, and state regulators to verify that this technology offers significant value as a dispatchable source of energy.

Nov. 30, 2012

System Advisor Model

The model makes performance predictions and cost of energy estimates for grid-connected power projects.

Nov. 27, 2012

NREL Updates Solar Radiation Database

Golden, Colo., November 9, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and collaborators released a 20-year updated version of the U.S. National Solar Radiation Database, a web-based technical report that provides critical information about solar and meteorological data for 1,454 locations in the U.S. and its territories.


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