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 2014

Dec. 23, 2014

News Release: NREL Receives Editors’ Choice Awards for Supercomputer Research

Two prestigious scientific magazines have awarded the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with Editors’ Choice awards for the Peregrine high-performance computer and the groundbreaking research it made possible.

Dec. 22, 2014

Report Says Western Grid Can Weather Disturbances Under High Renewable Penetrations

A new report finds that with good system planning, sound engineering practices, and commercially available technologies, the Western Interconnection can withstand the crucial first minute after grid disturbances with high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid.

Dec. 18, 2014

News Release: Three New Fellows to Help Guide NREL Research

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently named Richard DeBlasio, Sarah Kurtz and Suhuai Wei to its Research Fellows Council, the laboratory's top advisory council, comprised of internationally recognized NREL scientists and engineers.

Dec. 16, 2014

News Release: NREL Demonstrates 45.7% Efficiency for Concentrator Solar Cell

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced the demonstration of a 45.7 percent conversion efficiency for a four-junction solar cell at 234 suns concentration. This achievement represents one of the highest photovoltaic research cell efficiencies achieved across all types of solar cells.

Dec. 15, 2014

News Release: NREL Seeks National Executive Energy Leadership Academy Participants for 2015

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is accepting applications for its 2015 Executive Energy Leadership Academy. NREL’s Executive Energy Leadership Academy, also known as Energy Execs, is a program which enables decision-makers throughout the country to learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, analytical tools and financing. Leaders in the private sector, communities, non-profits and government are eligible to participate in the program.

Dec. 11, 2014

News Release: NREL Compares State Solar Policies to Determine Equation for Solar Market Success

Analysts at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have used statistical analyses and detailed case studies to better understand why solar market policies in certain states are more successful. Their findings indicate that while no standard formula for solar implementation exists, a combination of foundational policies and localized strategies can increase solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in any state.

Dec. 10, 2014

News Release: NREL to Advance Technologies for Microgrid Projects

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is providing critical support to two new microgrid projects coordinated by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and General Electric Company (GE).

Dec. 9, 2014

SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunity Deadline December 15—Includes Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

This opportunity includes two hydrogen- and fuel cell-related topics: in-line quality control devices for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which is a Technology Transfer Opportunity to leverage NREL technology, and fuel cell-battery electric hybrid trucks.

November 2014

Nov. 26, 2014

NREL Releases User Guide for PV Dynamic Model Simulation

Report explains how to use NREL's tool for modeling the dynamic behavior of photovoltaic inverters.

Nov. 20, 2014

News Release: NREL Teams with SolarCity to Maximize Solar Power on Electrical Grids

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SolarCity have entered into a cooperative research agreement to address the operational issues associated with large amounts of distributed solar energy on electrical grids. The work includes collaboration with the Hawaiian Electric Companies to analyze high penetration solar scenarios using advanced modeling and inverter testing at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). The project is funded in part through an Energy Department solar cost-share program.

Nov. 20, 2014

Innovative Way to Test Batteries Fills a Market Niche

Isothermal Battery Calorimeters (IBCs), developed by NREL researchers, are capable of performing the precise thermal measurements needed to make safer, longer-lasting, and more cost-effective batteries for in a variety of applications.

Nov. 14, 2014

New Initiatives Debut at Industry Growth Forum

At annual event, inverter technology takes top honor—and two new programs are announced to push clean energy innovations to the marketplace.

Nov. 12, 2014

NREL Research Facilitates Several Multi-Party Collaborations in Advanced Controls

NREL’s two Advanced Controls Research Turbines are providing the basis for several collaborative research projects involving multiple partners to advance the state-of-the-art wind turbine controls.

Nov. 12, 2014

Webinar November 18: An Overview of the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) Project

Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, the H2FIRST project leverages core capabilities at the national laboratories to address the technology challenges related to hydrogen refueling stations. This presentation will review the objectives, approach, and structure of H2FIRST, as well as provide a progress update on active and proposed technical tasks.

Nov. 6, 2014

NREL Analyzes Floating Offshore Wind Technology for Statoil

NREL engineers traveled to Oslo, Norway, to meet with Statoil representatives regarding NREL’s analysis of Statoil’s Hywind II offshore floating wind turbine design.

Nov. 3, 2014

NREL/DOE Develop Collaboration with Japan’s Offshore Wind Programs

A delegation from the offshore wind technical teams of the Energy Department and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently traveled to Japan to develop a collaborative relationship between U.S. and Japanese offshore wind programs.

Nov. 3, 2014

2014 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Report Posted

The U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program has posted the 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Report.

October 2014

Oct. 31, 2014

Reviving Algae from the (Almost) Dead

NREL's cryogenic tank holds 500 dormant algae samples, and each must ease back into life.

Oct. 30, 2014

U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program Announces New Round of Funding for 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory today issued a Request for Proposals seeking teams of students to participate in the 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition.

Oct. 30, 2014

News Release: NREL’s Industry Growth Forum Brings Together Energy Innovators

The Industry Growth Forum hosted by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and thought leaders to Denver. Last night, three companies where honored with Best Venture and Outstanding Venture Awards.

Oct. 27, 2014

News Release: NREL and Army Validate Energy Savings for Net Zero Energy Installations

The U.S. Army (Army) has partnered with the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to increase energy security through improved energy efficiency and optimized renewable energy strategies at nine installations in the Army’s portfolio. If all nine of the Army Net Zero Energy Installation (NZEI) pilot sites achieve net zero energy, they will replace approximately 8 percent of the Army’s current total installation energy use with renewable energy. In fact, if all Army installations worldwide were to achieve a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption, as the NZEI pilot sites can, the Army would save approximately 20 trillion BTUs and up to $300 million in annual energy costs.

Oct. 23, 2014

Partnerships Drive New Transportation Solutions

Hybrid of research and industry know-how steers NREL transportation RD&D.

Oct. 21, 2014

NREL Report Identifies Research Needed to Address Power Market Design Challenges

First-of-its-kind collaborative report suggests approaches to help mitigate the market design issues that variable renewable generation brings.

Oct. 20, 2014

News Release: Solar Energy Prices See Double-digit Declines in 2013; Trend Expected to Continue

Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices dropped by 12 – 19 percent nationwide in 2013, according to the third edition of a jointly written report on PV pricing trends from the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). In addition, 2014 prices are expected to drop another 3 – 12 percent, depending on system location and market segment. Industry analysts expect this trend to continue over the next couple of years, keeping the nation on track to meet the DOE SunShot Initiative’s 2020 targets.

Oct. 13, 2014

HP Supercomputer at NREL Garners Top Honor

Supercomputer that uses waste heat to warm its building wins R&D 100 award.

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