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NREL Invites U.S. Manufacturers To Help Advance Distributed Wind Technologies

Competitiveness Improvement Project Notice of Intent and Upcoming Workshop Provide U.S. Distributed Wind Community a Path Forward

Nov. 9, 2020

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a call to action for U.S. manufacturers of small- and medium-sized wind turbines by issuing a notice of intent (NOI) under the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP). To allow companies to prepare project ideas and teams, NREL is issuing the NOI in advance of a request for proposals planned for release in early 2021.

NREL also invites interested parties to attend a virtual workshop on the CIP on Dec. 8, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Register here.

Managed by NREL on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office, the CIP awards cost-shared subcontracts and technical support to component suppliers and manufacturers of small- and medium-sized wind turbines. Since 2012, this project has helped small U.S. businesses develop new and innovative distributed wind technology through financial support, the expertise of NREL researchers, and access to the laboratory’s research facilities.

“The Competitiveness Improvement Project is designed to help advance distributed wind technologies toward being more cost competitive with other distributed energy resources,” said Ian Baring-Gould, NREL’s distributed wind program lead. “Through this notice of intent and upcoming workshop, NREL is preparing wind manufacturers to take part in the next round of CIP funding.”

Workshop Designed To Generate Successful CIP Proposals

The December 8 virtual workshop will present an overview of the CIP and review likely topic areas, evaluation criteria, certification requirements, and NREL’s technical support opportunities.

“This workshop is designed for companies interested in applying to CIP solicitations,” Baring-Gould said. “In addition to helping attendees understand the RFP process and criteria, we also hope that the workshop, although in a virtual format, will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet with other members of the distributed wind community and offer feedback on the CIP and the focus of potential future solicitations.”

Speakers will cover four general topic areas:

  • Previous CIP solicitation topics and guidance on which potential topic areas may be the most appropriate for different turbine development stages
  • Merit criteria and expectations for information to be included in proposals
  • Wind turbine design review requirements
  • International Electrotechnical Commission, American Wind Energy Association, and Underwriters Laboratories certification requirements.

NREL encourages workshop participants to register in advance.

About the CIP

DOE’s Competitiveness Improvement Project supports U.S. leadership in distributed wind technologies. Managed by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, the CIP supports innovation to advance wind energy as a low-cost distributed generation technology option by:

  • Reducing technology costs
  • Supporting product innovation
  • Optimizing wind turbines for distributed applications
  • Ensuring that distributed energy consumers have wind technology options that are certified for performance and quality
  • Developing advanced manufacturing processes to reduce hardware costs
  • Supporting the development of new design applications
  • Expanding the usability of distributed wind technology.

Through a competitive process, the CIP awards cost-shared subcontracts and NREL technical support to manufacturers and developers of small- and medium-sized wind turbine systems, expanding where distributed wind technologies can be used to provide local energy services, either paired with other renewable technologies such as solar and battery storage to increase resilience, or simply to reduce local energy costs.  

Since 2012, NREL has awarded 36 subcontracts to 20 companies, totaling a DOE investment of more than $7.75 million, while leveraging more than $3.8 million in industry cost-share.

For further information about the project, visit NREL’s website or download the CIP fact sheet