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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 2018

Dec. 27, 2018

News Release: NREL Details Great Potential for Floating PV Systems

While the United States was the first to demonstrate floating PV panels--with the first installation occurring 10 years ago on pontoons on an irrigation pond in Napa Valley, California--the idea has not received widespread national acceptance.

Dec. 26, 2018

A Big Year for Wind: NREL's Top Five Industry Takeaways of 2018

The wind industry is booming now that wind generation has become the cheapest source of new power in multiple U.S. markets, even without incentives. And--spoiler alert--early-stage research shows promise for driving down wind power prices even further.

Dec. 21, 2018

Ian Baring-Gould is Engaging in the Power of Communities

Ian Baring-Gould has traveled the globe for NREL, helping communities. He is amazed at the progress of renewables, particularly wind, over the past few decades.

Dec. 21, 2018

Better Explanation of Coalescence-Related Defects Garners Journal Spotlight

New paper aids researchers in understanding defects in coalescing materials, helping to develop low-cost substrates for solar cells.

Dec. 20, 2018

Inspiring the Next Generation of NREL Researchers

Senior NREL researcher Alicen Kandt frequently volunteers to speak with college students and young girls about careers in engineering and renewable energy.

Dec. 20, 2018

Expert from NREL Testifies Before Canada House of Commons

ASHRAE President and NREL senior research advisor Sheila Hayter testified before the Canada House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources in November.

Dec. 20, 2018

Q&A with Mike Callahan: Modernizing Energy Systems

Mike Callahan is the group manager for the Applied Engineering team, a new group at NREL that supports projects in the areas of resiliency, microgrids, building systems, and new technology testing and evaluation.

Dec. 19, 2018

Field Validation Campaign of German-Designed Rotor Blades Measures Adaptation to Strong Winds

The German Aerospace Center has partnered with NREL to investigate how well rotor blades designed with bending-torsion coupling handle strongly variable wind speeds.

Dec. 14, 2018

Costs Continue to Decline for Residential and Commercial Photovoltaics in 2018

Two new reports from NREL track the evolving costs of PV and establish a new cost benchmark for PV-plus-storage.

Dec. 14, 2018

NREL Garners Top Sustainability Honor at Data Center Dynamics Awards

International award cements NREL’s status as a world leader in energy-efficient and sustainable data centers.

Dec. 13, 2018

NREL Powers Up GameChanger, Announces First Cohort of Start-Ups

The Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN) has announced its first round of start-up innovators – four companies focused on developing long-term energy storage and advancing the grid of the future.

Dec. 13, 2018

News Release: Upwind Wind Plants Can Reduce Flow to Downwind Neighbors

New National Science Foundation and Department of Energy-funded research highlights a previously unexplored consequence of the global proliferation of wind energy facilities: a wake effect from upwind facilities that can reduce the energy production of their downwind neighbors.

Dec. 10, 2018

Bioenergy Scientists Collaborate with Industry to Convey Feedstock Value, Improve Biomass Conversion Processes

A team of NREL scientists partnered with Forest Concepts to perform detailed thermochemical conversion simulations for biomass feedstocks. The simulations relate feedstock attributes to expected product yields and necessary pyrolysis conversion process conditions.

Dec. 10, 2018

NREL Expands Research in Geothermal and Solar Desalination

NREL scientists have a long history of successfully analyzing geothermal and solar energy data. But they are now actively researching desalination capabilities by partnering with technology leaders on several groundbreaking projects. The purpose is to explore geothermal and solar-thermal technologies for creating fresh water from otherwise unusable water.

Dec. 4, 2018

NREL-Led ExaWind Project Demonstrates New Capability for Simulating Modern Wind Turbines

NREL and partners have created a new blade-resolved model of a large modern wind turbine, enabling scientists and engineers to begin understanding the complex flow physics in multi-turbine wind farms that will take advantage of future exascale modeling and simulation capability.

November 2018

Nov. 30, 2018

NREL Leadership in Grid-Mod Projects Highlights National Progress

The challenge to modernize our grid is not a maintenance task or an everyday repair. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) is responding to a grid transformation unlike anything the nation has experienced.

Nov. 30, 2018

Q&A with Greg Martin: Real-Time Operations of the ESIF

Electrical Engineer Greg Martin is the Research Operations Engineering group manager for ESI. Martin works on strategic visioning and planning for ESIF, and with his background expertise on power electronics and advanced inverters and power systems, he's bringing exciting new insights for future capabilities. Read our conversation with Martin to learn about the new capabilities he's working on at ESIF.

Nov. 29, 2018

NREL and Mines Launch Transformational Grad Program

Powering our future society will require energy systems and infrastructure that are more expansive, secure, and resilient than today's. It will also require thought leaders and innovators who can capably and creatively guide this vital energy sector transition. To address these needs, NREL and Colorado School of Mines are piloting a novel Advanced Energy Systems (AES) graduate program in fall 2019. Learn more.

Nov. 27, 2018

News Release: Algae Testbed Experiment Yields Data Useful for Future Projects

Researchers established identical raceway-style ponds in five outdoor locations to cultivate and harvest three strains of algae during the four seasons.

Nov. 23, 2018

Denver Business Journal Recognizes Richard Adams for Convening Innovators and Investors

Richard Adams builds energy--around technology, among investors, and through foundations.

Nov. 20, 2018

Using CSP to Improve Frequency Stability of Power Grid

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and General Electric (GE) have joined forces to tackle an issue that is relatively new ground for the power industry. Five years ago, most people couldn't envision high penetration on the grid of variable-generation renewables such as photovoltaics (PV) and wind.

Nov. 19, 2018

News Release: R&D Magazine Honors Duo of NREL Innovations

Given annually by R&D Magazine, the awards honor the 100 most innovative technologies of the past year and were chosen by an independent panel of judges.

Nov. 19, 2018

Researcher Rockets to Global Recognition for Breakthroughs in Battery Safety and Performance

NREL's Donal Finegan recently received a Global Young Researcher Award from the Institution of Chemical Engineers for his contributions to NASA's battery safety program and NREL's advanced diagnostics. Not yet 30 years old, Finegan is widely viewed as a leader in the international battery community, responsible for significant advancements in safety, diagnostic techniques, and design approaches.

Nov. 14, 2018

NREL Shifts Carbon Fiber Research into Second Gear

Ongoing research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory could lead to a cleaner method of transforming acrylonitrile into carbon fiber, replacing petrochemicals with biomass as the starting point.

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