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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

December 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.

December 31, 2012

NREL Leads Wind Farm Modeling Research

Researchers study the atmosphere surrounding large turbines to optimize performance.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 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 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.

November 30, 2012

System Advisor Model

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

November 20, 2012

NREL's Research Support Facility Garners Second LEED® Platinum

The Research Support Facility (RSF) on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo. has earned its second LEED® Platinum designation for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction.

November 19, 2012

Workshop Explores Information's Role in Wind Project Siting: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The New England Wind Forum and New England Wind Energy Education Project hosted a one-day workshop focusing on the role of information on issues impacting public acceptance in the appropriate siting of wind power in New England.

November 19, 2012

Nominate the Wind Cooperative of the Year for 2012

The 2012 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award will honor one electric cooperative for its leadership in wind power.

November 7, 2012

Schools Experience Benefits of Wind Energy Firsthand

Ruth Douglas Miller, Kansas State University Wind Applications Center director, discusses the 25 Wind for Schools installations in Kansas and Darin Headrick, schools superintendent in Greensburg, Kansas, discusses the wind turbine installed in his district.

October 30, 2012

U.S. Wind Industry Continues to Expand

According to AWEA's Third Quarter 2012 Market Report, U.S. wind power capacity increased significantly in 2012—up 40% compared to 2011. Overall, wind capacity installations increased to 51,630 megawatts (MW)—enough to power 13 million American homes and businesses.

October 25, 2012

NREL's Industry Growth Forum Brings Together Energy Innovators

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 25th Industry Growth Forum this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers to Denver.

October 25, 2012

NREL's Industry Growth Forum

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 25th Industry Growth Forum this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers to Denver.

October 22, 2012

Dan McGuire Discusses Nebraska Wind Energy in New YouTube Video

Insights and statistics about how wind energy development in Nebraska is helping the state achieve new economic heights.

October 22, 2012

Mahtomedi Zephyr Wind Project Is Community Effort

A Minnesota small wind case study profiles the 10-kilowatt turbine that generates power for the Mahtomedi High School stadium's lights and scoreboard and serves an even larger role as an educational tool for the community that worked together to make this project a reality.

October 22, 2012

Hodges Badge Company Wind Project Case Study

The wind turbine is expected to produce more energy than the family-owned and -operated facility's needs in a typical year,

October 22, 2012

Virginia to Complete Two More Wind for Schools Turbine Installations: A Wind Powering America Success Story

Funding mechanisms and the permitting process for each project are described.

October 22, 2012

DOE Funds Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool Update

The just-released Version 2.0 of the tool includes several noteworthy updates reflecting changes in market conditions, refined assumptions, and improved user interface elements.

October 19, 2012

USDA Announces REAP Funding for 244 Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced $16 million in funding for 244 projects to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs and incorporate renewable energy technologies.

October 17, 2012

American Wind Energy Association Publishes Third-Quarter 2012 Market Report

New installations during the quarter totaled 1,833 megawatts (MW), resulting in a U.S. wind capacity of 51,628 MW on October 1 and more than 40,000 wind turbines across the United States.

October 10, 2012

AWEA Releases Recommended Practices for Offshore Wind Compliance

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its long-awaited consensus document, AWEA Offshore Compliance Recommended Practices 2012 (OCRP 2012), today at its Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Virginia Beach.

October 10, 2012

NREL Studies of Voluntary Markets Draw Positive Feedback from Utilities

NREL analysts Jenny Heeter and Lori Bird presented at the 2012 Renewable Energy Markets Conference, a premier national forum for promoting renewable energy.

October 10, 2012

NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News (September 2012)

In September, there were eight high-level items of media interest regarding NREL analysts and the analysis done at the lab.

October 10, 2012

Recent Publications (September 2012)

This article collects a list of energy analysis publications recently released. Originally published in the Energy Analysis Newsletter - October 2012.

October 10, 2012

OpenEI Spotlighted in White House Datapalooza Event

The Hydrogen Gateway on OpenEI launched in preparation for Energy Datapalooza, an event that highlights the use of open energy data sourced from the government and used by entrepreneurs to build new businesses.

October 9, 2012

Department of the Interior Authorizes Landmark Wyoming Wind Project Site

The proposed project is expected to create an estimated 1,000 construction and operation and maintenance jobs and generate enough energy to power nearly 1 million homes.

October 8, 2012

Gratiot County Wind Project Case Study

The 212.8-megawatt (MW) wind farm is Michigan's largest and increased the state's total wind energy capacity from 377 MW to nearly 600 MW.

October 1, 2012

October Is Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month, and since 1991 teachers all over the country have incorporated energy efficiency and conservation activities into their curricula, as well as information about energy sources. The following resources are available to assist with lesson planning.

September 25, 2012

DOE Wind Program Funds University of Wisconsin-Madison Wind Workforce Development Efforts: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded an Energy Department workforce development grant in July 2010 to develop a series of continuing education short courses focused on civil design and construction for wind energy power plants.

September 25, 2012

Wind Energy Research Institutes Join Forces at the Inaugural Meeting of the North American Wind Energy Academy

The North American Wind Energy Academy held its inaugural meeting August 7-9, 2012, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The meeting drew 92 participants from 17 states and Canada, including 22 universities, eight commercial companies, and four government laboratories.

September 25, 2012

Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Project Celebrates its First Wind Turbine Installation and Welcomes Three New Host Schools

A cadre of teachers at the school is excited to use the data from the turbine for in-class activities.

September 12, 2012

NREL Proposes Framework to Support Exchange of Knowledge on Low Emission Development Strategies

In a recent report, NREL proposes a framework—or support infrastructure—to enable the efficient exchange of LEDS-related knowledge and technical assistance via coordinating forums, "knowledge platforms," and networks of experts and investors.

September 12, 2012

Estimating Renewable Energy Costs Using CREST

CREST, an economic cash-flow model, enables state policymakers, regulators, utilities, beginning developers or investors, and other stakeholders to assess the economics of renewable energy projects and evaluate the impact of tax incentives or other support structures.

September 12, 2012

Energy Analysis Publications (August 2012)

This article collects a list of energy analysis publications recently released. Originally published in the Energy Analysis Newsletter - September 2012.

September 12, 2012

NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News

In August, there were nine high-level items of media interest regarding NREL analysts and the analysis done at the lab.

September 6, 2012

New Report Shows Strong Growth in the Fuel Cell Market in 2011

A new report shows significant growth for the fuel cell industry in 2011 and forecasts continued growth through 2012.

September 5, 2012

Camden Hills Regional High School's WindPlanners: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned

A group of 100 students over 8 years conducted research, secured school board permission and town permits, and raised $500,000 to install a wind turbine on their campus.

August 28, 2012

Workforce Development Survey

BW Research is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to conduct a study to understand the wind industry's workforce needs.

August 28, 2012

Mapping Tool Helps Wind Energy Companies Screen Early for Critical Habitat, Potential Wildlife Impacts

In the Landscape Assessment Tool, users can now display Web-based maps drawn from more than 700 data layers.

August 28, 2012

Web-Based Tool Updated to Aid in Evaluating Best Use of Incentive Dollars

Numerous policies, assumptions, wind turbine details, and user interface elements are now updated in the Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool.

August 20, 2012

SAE Awards NREL Engineer for Oral Presentation Excellence

NREL's Jeremy Neubauer recently received an Excellence in Oral Presentation Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers.

August 16, 2012

Gemini Energy Services Expands Its Workforce by Hiring Military Veterans: A Wind Powering America Success Story

In July 2010, the Energy Department awarded a workforce development grant to San Diego-based Gemini Energy Services to create a training curriculum tailored to military veterans to transition their military skill sets into technical careers in the wind industry.

August 15, 2012

New England Wind Projects Map Updated

The map now features 138 projects.

August 14, 2012

Energy Report: U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Surges, Supporting Jobs and Diversifying U.S. Energy Economy

WASHINGTON – The Energy Department released a new reportPDF today highlighting strong growth in the U.S. wind energy market in 2011, increasing the U.S. share of clean energy and supporting tens of thousands of jobs, and underscoring the importance of continued policy support and clean energy tax credits to ensure that the manufacturing and jobs associated with this booming global industry remain in America.

August 8, 2012

Community Hospital Rebuilds Better with Wind Energy

The hospital achieved LEED Platinum certification, and located in one of the prime wind areas in the United States, installed two wind turbines. The hospital is 32 percent more energy efficient than a typical hospital built to the ASHRAE standard.

August 7, 2012

Energy Analysis Publications (July 2012)

This article collects a list of energy analysis publications recently released. Originally published in the Energy Analysis Newsletter - August 2012.

August 7, 2012

NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News (July 2012)

In July, there were five high-level items of media interest regarding NREL analysts and the analysis done at the lab.

August 7, 2012

Army Announces $7 Billion Action to Support Renewable Energy

A request for proposals to procure renewable and alternative energy on federal property through power purchase agreements.

July 31, 2012

Spirit Lake School District Case Study

The Spirit Lake School District in Iowa installed a 250-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine in 1993 and a 750-kW turbine in 2001, providing an example of installed renewable energy for other schools across the nation to follow while offsetting approximately 46% of the district's electricity needs.

July 31, 2012

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches New Offshore Wind Works Website

Offshore Wind Works is an effort of the Clean Energy States Alliance's Offshore Wind Accelerator Project to ensure availability of timely, fact-based information about the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

NREL partners with island communities around the world to address the technical, policy, social, and economic hurdles to deploying energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies (RET) on small, islanded systems. The lessons learned from these partnerships are briefly summarized in this document.

July 30, 2012

Presentation:

This study estimates the total recoverable onshore geopressured geothermal resource (defined as a brine reservoir with fluid temperature greater than 212°F and a pressure gradient greater than 0.7 psi/ft) for identified sites in Texas and Louisiana.

July 30, 2012

Presentation:

In this presentation, NREL provides an initial estimate of the geothermal resource in major U.S. sedimentary basins.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This report provides a holistic understanding of the dynamics surrounding the allocation of biomass among competing uses by (1) highlighting the methods used in existing models' treatments of competition for biomass resources; (2) identifying coverage and gaps in industry data regarding the competing end uses; and (3) exploring options for developing models of biomass allocation that could be integrated with the BSM.

July 30, 2012

Journal Article:

This article estimates the capacity value of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants without thermal energy storage in the southwestern United States.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report: Renewable Electricity Futures Study

This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies—in 2050.

July 30, 2012

LCA Harmonization Project

The Journal of Industrial Ecology published a special issue titled "Meta-Analysis of Life Cycle Assessments" showcasing seven NREL articles on life cycle assessment (LCA) harmonization.

July 30, 2012

Journal Article:

This paper focuses on the downstream portion of the supply chain—represented in the distribution logistics, dispensing station, and fuel utilization—and vehicle modules of the Biomass Scenario Model.

July 30, 2012

Native American Schools in Arizona to Install Wind Turbines: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The Arizona Renewable Energy Investment Fund received $5 million in funds following the expansion of the Springerville Generating Station coal plant to support projects that reduce pollution and benefit Native American communities in Arizona and northwestern New Mexico.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This paper explains the fundamental physical characteristics of PV and compares them to the characteristics of 'real' property to help determine whether REITs can own PV systems.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This report, developed as part of the International Energy Agency Wind Implementing Agreement Task 26, titled "The Cost of Wind Energy," reviews historical costs, evaluates near-term market trends, reviews the methods used to estimate long-term cost trajectories, and summarizes the range of costs projected for onshore wind energy across an array of forward-looking studies and scenarios.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This analysis is a supplement to and provides a high-level examination of several clean energy alternatives.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This document provides a detailed description of NREL's levelized cost of wind energy equation, assumptions, and results in 2010.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This report offers insights by financial executives active in the renewable energy (RE) market during conference panel discussions and in presentations, direct interviews, and email correspondences, the authors address the potential project financing and market impacts from the expiration of the §1603 Program.

July 30, 2012

Journal Article:

The study examines three classes of energy storage—electricity storage, including batteries and pumped hydro, hybrid storage (compressed-air energy storage), and thermal energy storage.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This report summarizes the key messages of those discussions and is designed to provide insights to the U.S. market and inform the international conversation on renewable energy financing innovations.

July 30, 2012

NREL Report:

This paper describes a simple method to estimate hourly cooling demand from historical utility load data.

July 30, 2012

Fact Sheet: Clean Energy Solutions Center: Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy Technologies

This fact sheet highlights key Solutions Center offerings, including the 'ask an expert' policy design assistance offered at no cost to governments and technical assistance programs around the world.

July 24, 2012

Small Wind Conference Presentations Available

Thirty-five presentations from the 2012 Small Wind Conference held June 12-13, 2012, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, are now available for online viewing.

July 24, 2012

Wind Power Use No-Brainer for Hotel Owner

The wind turbine on average is reducing the hotel's electricity bill by $2,000 a month.

July 24, 2012

NABCEP Seeks Input from Small Wind Industry

Industry experts have been working with NABCEP to develop small wind entry-level learning objectives that describe the fundamental knowledge and skills required in a variety of job settings and roles. The objectives are ready to be reviewed and validated.

July 23, 2012

Illinois Wind for Schools Program: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned

The U.S. Energy Department's Wind for Schools project developed an affiliate program to allow states or schools that do not receive direct funding to become involved, the model that Illinois enacted.

July 20, 2012

Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Blog Post Highlights Positive Wind Energy Research Studies

The wind energy world seems to be dominated by discussions of the Production Tax Credit and its ramifications for the wind energy industry, but it may be helpful to take a broader look at the wind industry and recently released analyses that provide us with a few sunbeams in the long-range forecast.

June 28, 2012

NREL Steps Up To and Meets SunShot Grand Challenge

The SunShot Grand Challenge: Summit and Technology Forum was a huge success, due in no small part to NREL's involvement. The summit, which drew an impressive 700 participants, focused on SunShot Initiative goals aimed at achieving grid-parity solar energy within the decade. NREL's director, scientists, and support staff played important roles in planning, managing, participating in, and generally supporting the event.

June 27, 2012

Clean Cities National Parks Initiative Cuts Ribbon on Three Pilot Projects, Announces New Projects

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Clean Cities program selected the Grand Teton, Mammoth Cave, and Yellowstone national parks to pilot the CCNPI. For over a year, Clean Cities Coalitions, National Parks Service (NPS) personnel, and the Clean Cities team at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) worked together to identify the best ways to incorporate alternative fuels and implement outreach efforts.

June 27, 2012

Wind Powering America Hosts 11th Annual All-States Summit

The Summit provides state Wind Working Groups, state energy officials, U.S. Energy Department and national laboratory representatives, and professional and institutional partners an opportunity to review successes, opportunities, and challenges for wind energy and plan future collaboration.

June 25, 2012

Small Town Turns to Wind Energy to Rebuild, Revitalize Community

When planning began to rebuild the town, the decision was made to pursue green energy. Mayor Bob Dixson says that decision was based upon wanting to be a stronger, more sustainable community and also going back to the legacy of the town's ancestors.

June 25, 2012

With NREL's Support, USVI Reaches Landmark Solar Deal

In February 2010, the U.S. Virgin Islands partnered with the U.S. Departments of Energy and Interior on the Energy Development in Island Nations initiative. The goal was to reduce the territory's dependence on fossil fuel 60% by 2025. Today, thanks to the Energy Department's financial support and technical assistance from NREL, the islands' energy landscape is greening.

June 25, 2012

USDA REAP Funds 450 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

The grants total nearly $7.4 million, which includes $412,304 in funding to 20 agricultural producers and rural businesses to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems.

June 19, 2012

Energy Department Assists with Wind Industry Training for Military Veterans

With the launch of Gemini Energy Service's workforce development training program, military veterans have the opportunity to transfer their skills from the armed forces into careers as wind technicians.

June 19, 2012

Blue Creek Wind Farm Case Study

The Blue Creek Wind Farm is Ohio's largest commercial wind project, with a capacity of 304 megawatts (MW). Featuring 152 Gamesa 2-MW turbines, the project represents a $600 million investment and will provide many economic benefits to the local community.

June 19, 2012

Energy Department Honors Minnesota and California Utilities with 2012 Public Power Wind Awards

The Public Power Wind Award recognizes American Public Power Association-member utilities that demonstrate outstanding leadership in advancing wind power and furthering energy independence in the United States.

June 18, 2012

Climate Action Planning Tool Wins Nielsen Norman Group Best Application Design Award

NREL's Climate Action Planning Tool has received a “Best Application Design – Workflow Applications” award from the Nielsen Norman Group—a Web industry leader specializing in user experience and usability—in its annual Web application contest.

June 16, 2012

Wind Powering America Team Presents 2012 Awards at All-States Summit

One of the highlights of the annual Wind Powering America All-States Summit is an awards presentation recognizing the accomplishments of peers.

June 5, 2012

City of Tybee Island Adopts Local Resolution in Support of Wind Development, a First in Georgia: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The resolution encourages educational institutions and wind energy developers to train and utilize the local workforce and human resources of the Tybee area. It also promotes open dialog among local stakeholders, wind developers, and manufacturers.

June 5, 2012

WINDPOWER 2012 Launches with a Strong Push for Continuing the Production Tax Credit

Governors noted that energy independence, American manufacturing, and good jobs are not partisan issues once people have been informed about all of the benefits wind energy can bring to communities and the nation.

June 5, 2012

Wind Powering America Updates Anemometer Loan Project Map

Wind Powering America publishes wind data collected from its Native American anemometer loan program and the Western Area Power Administration's anemometer loan program.

June 5, 2012

DOE, NREL Launch Interactive Map for Utility Customers

The online tool enables customers in the United States to search for data from their U.S. electric utilities.

June 1, 2012

Energy Department Awards NREL Engineers for Exceptional Achievement

Two NREL engineers received awards at Annual Merit Review meeting in honor of their contributions.

May 25, 2012

Analysis Tool Details Cost of Hydrogen Produced Via Wind Electrolysis

According to an analysis conducted by NREL, a range of wind class sites can provide green hydrogen at a cost close to the U.S. Department of Energy's 2015 target of $3.70/kg for distributed hydrogen plants.

May 22, 2012

Wind Powering America Publishes 30-Meter Wind Resource Maps

These 30-meter height, high-resolution wind maps can be used as a guide to identify locations for small wind development.

May 21, 2012

Peer-Reviewed Offshore Wind Fact Sheets Available

The Island Institute created a series of peer-reviewed fact sheets that address questions and concerns regarding offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine and beyond.

May 21, 2012

Kaupuni Village: The First Net-Zero Affordable Housing Community in Hawaii

Kaupuni Village is located on land provided by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, which selected native Hawaiian's from a waiting list to help them attain home ownership on an island where the average median home price is $600,000. Kaupuni Village homes range from $260,000 for a 4-bedroom and $212,000 for a 3-bedroom.

May 21, 2012

U.S. EPA Launches Innovative New Tools to Determine Solar and Wind Energy Potential on Contaminated Lands

The Wind Energy Decision Tree guides state and local governments and other stakeholders through a process for screening sites for their suitability for future redevelopment with wind energy.

May 17, 2012

NREL Helps Hawaii Public Utility Commission Increase Biofuels Knowledge

NREL provided training to the Hawaii Public Utility Commission to help them learn more about biomass and biofuels technologies and the possible applications in Hawaii.

May 8, 2012

Colorado's Wind for Schools Project Receives Wirth Chair Award: A Wind Powering America Success Story

On April 25, Colorado's Wind for Schools project was honored with a Wirth Chair Award for its work in integrating wind energy into classrooms throughout the state.

May 7, 2012

NREL Training in Hawaii Leads to New Partnerships and Student Opportunities

As part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative's partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, members of NREL's Integrated Deployment team conducted hands-on training on NREL's Building Energy Optimization modeling software for University of Hawaii Community College instructors.

May 4, 2012

Future Wind Energy Leaders Gather in Belfast, Maine

The event enables students to analyze energy generation and usage data to prepare for energy-related careers and to compete to become the most efficient community on the coast. Students presented on their energy projects, including developing a 100-kW wind project on a high school campus.

May 2, 2012

Greensburg, Kansas, Five Years Later—An International Inspiration for Green Disaster Recovery

May 4, 2012, marks the fifth anniversary of the day Greensburg, Kansas, was forever changed. On that day, an EF-5 tornado demolished the town, an agricultural community of about 1,400 in south-central Kansas.

May 1, 2012

NREL Looks at State of the U.S. Utility-Scale Solar Market in Two New Reports

This market overview report summarizes the current U.S. utility-scale solar state-of-the-market and development pipeline. The other report provides an overview of RPS policies, as well as the project financial structures they enable, based on industry literature, publicly available data, and questionnaires conducted by NREL.

May 1, 2012

NREL Report Measures Jobs and Economic Impacts of §1603

This analysis responds to a request from the U.S. DOE EERE Office for NREL to estimate the direct and indirect jobs and economic impacts of projects supported by the §1603 Treasury grant program.

May 1, 2012

Do Your Part in Securing a Sustainable Renewable Energy Future for America

The Renewable Energy for America Program gives agricultural producers and rural businesses such as irrigation, dairy processing, and animal confinement operations, incentives to invest in renewable energy. Wind projects provide economic development to rural America and support energy self reliance.

May 1, 2012

Brochure Outlines Benefits of the Open PV Project

The brochure outlines the purpose and history of the Open PV Project as well as the main capabilities and benefits of the online Open PV tool.

May 1, 2012

Transmission Issues of Geothermal Technologies

This report provides a baseline description of the transmission issues affecting geothermal technologies.

May 1, 2012

Two Papers Document Diverse Approaches to Effective Integration of Variable Renewable Energy

This study and summary for policymakers document the diverse approaches to effective integration of variable renewable energy among six countries--Australia (South Australia), Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United States (western region-Colorado and Texas) -- and summarizes policy best practices that energy ministers and other stakeholders can pursue to ensure that electricity markets and power systems can effectively coevolve with increasing penetrations of variable renewable energy.

May 1, 2012

Solar PV Reaching New Demographics through Third-Party Ownership

This report finds third-party business models in southern California residential PV markets have enticed a new demographic to adopt PV systems.

April 24, 2012

NREL Follow-up Evaluation Quantifies Fuel Savings in Hybrid Electric Delivery Vans

NREL recently completed a three-year technology evaluation of hybrid electric vans compared with conventional diesel vans. A new report details the results of this evaluation, with a focus on the impact of hybridization on fuel economy and performance.

April 24, 2012

Distributed Wind Case Study: Cross Island Farms, Wellesley Island, New York

Cross Island Farms is a 102-acre certified organic farm that has a renewable energy system consisting of one 10-kilowatt Bergey Excel wind turbine, a solar array, and a propane-powered generator. This case study describes funding for the project and the installation process.

April 24, 2012

Updated Installed Wind Capacity Map Available

Illustrates progress between 1999 to 2011 using data from the American Wind Energy Association's fourth-quarter report. The animation is also available in a format for PowerPoint presentations.

April 17, 2012

RE-Powering America: Wind Energy at Naval Station Newport

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the RE-Powering America's Land initiative to encourage development of renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mine sites.

April 10, 2012

Nebraska Utilizes a Supplemental Environmental Program to Fund Wind for Schools Turbines: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The Nebraska Wind for Schools project team has 24 turbine installations in various stages of development. Twelve of these installations were funded through grant funds from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality's Supplemental Environmental Program.

April 4, 2012

International Collaboration Results in New, More Efficient Bioconversion Pathway

NREL, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), and Honda Research and Development (Honda R&D) have teamed together to uncover a novel pathway for the conversion of agricultural residues and other feedstocks to fuel ethanol.

April 3, 2012

REAP Success Provides Many Benefits for America

The Renewable Energy for America Program has helped the United States make unprecedented gains in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Many clean energy projects across the nation have received funding through the program.

April 3, 2012

Colorado's Wind for Schools Project Honored with a Wirth Chair Award

Colorado's Wind for Schools project will be honored with a Wirth Chair Award on April 25 for its work in integrating wind energy into classrooms throughout the state.

April 1, 2012

Co-Locating CSP and Wind with Thermal Energy Storage

In this work, we examine the benefits and limits of using the dispatachability of thermal storage to increase the capacity factor of new transmission developed to access high quality solar and wind resources in remote locations.

April 1, 2012

SAM Overview and Capabilities

This document describes the capabilities of NREL's System Advisor Model (SAM), Version 2011.12.2, released on December 2, 2011.

April 1, 2012

Energy Storage: Identifying and Mitigating Barriers to Use

This paper surveys some of these main barriers and proposes some potential research and policy steps that can help address them. While the discussion is focused on the United States, a number of the findings and observations may be more broadly applicable.

April 1, 2012

Analysts Present Innovative Work at JISEA Annual Meeting

Several NREL analysts showcased their work during the annual meeting of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA).

April 1, 2012

Production Cost Modeling in the SunShot Vision Study

This document describes the use of production cost modeling in the SunShot Vision study, including methods used to create the SunShot Vision scenarios, their implementation in the Gridview model, and assumptions regarding transmission system and operation of each generator type.

April 1, 2012

Renewable Energy Financial Structures and the Impact on Solar Projects

This report describes four of the most prevalent financial structures used by the renewable sector and evaluates the impact of financial structure on energy costs for utility-scale solar projects that use photovoltaic and CSP technologies.

April 1, 2012

Coupling Renewable and Nuclear Energy to Thermal Energy Storage

This paper conceptually explores combinations of wind, solar, and nuclear that can provide a large fraction of a system's electricity, assuming the use of thermal energy storage that would allow nuclear power to provide load-following and cycling duty while operating at a constant reactor power output.

April 1, 2012

Tracing the Rise and Use of Labeling Products as "Made with Renewable Energy"

This report discusses the experience of companies that communicate to consumers that their products are "made with renewable energy." For this report, representatives from 20 companies were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences marketing products produced using renewable energy.

April 1, 2012

Green Button Initiative

The Apps for Energy Challenge was announced, which challenges developers to create apps that uses utility data to help consumers use less energy. In support of this, the Green Button Developer Page was created.

March 20, 2012

Speak Up To Protect Successful Renewable Energy for America Program

Not only is the funding instrumental but working through the application guidelines help make successful projects.

March 20, 2012

2012 Public Power Wind Award Nominations

The award will honor one public power utility for its leadership in wind power.

March 13, 2012

Energy Department Announces Up to $2 Million to Collect Data from Hydrogen Fueling Stations and Demonstrate Innovations in Hydrogen Infrastructure Technologies

By collecting data from advanced hydrogen fueling stations, the Energy Department will track the performance and technical progress of innovative refueling systems operating in real-world environments to find ways to lower costs and improve operation.

March 9, 2012

Energy Department Honors Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative with 2011 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award

This award honors the Iowa-based utility for its installation of a 21-megawatt wind energy project in only 18 months, making the Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative the first electric distribution cooperative to design, finance and complete a wind energy project of this size over such a short period.

March 8, 2012

DOE Funds Consensus Building Institute to Host Facilitating Wind Energy Siting Workshop: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The event was a culmination of work that began in 2009 when the group received $99,785 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under a competitive funding opportunity announcement to address market and deployment challenges identified in DOE's 2008 report "20% Wind Energy by 2030."

March 2, 2012

Energy Department Announces up to $6 Million to Collect Performance Data on Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

The projects selected for funding will collect data from next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles as they are operated in real-world conditions to identify ways to lower costs and improve fuel cell durability and overall vehicle performance.

March 1, 2012

Can U.S. PV Prices Go Lower?

This report's analysis of the overnight capital costs (cash purchase) paid for PV systems attempts to establish an objective methodology that most closely approximates the book value of PV system assets.

March 1, 2012

LBNL/NREL Analysis Predicts Record Low LCOE for Wind Energy in 2012-2013

A recent analysis conducted by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that lower capital costs and continued increases in wind turbine productivity will drive down the levelized cost of energy for U.S. wind projects constructed in 2012-2013.

March 1, 2012

DOE Announces $180 Million for Deployment of Offshore Wind Projects

These offshore wind projects will accelerate the deployment of breakthrough wind power technologies that will help diversify our nation's energy portfolio, promote economic development, and launch a new industry here in America.

March 1, 2012

Renewable Energy Optimization at NAVSTA Newport

In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the RE-Powering America's Land initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy (RE) on potentially contaminated land and mine sites. As part of this effort, EPA is collaborating with NREL to evaluate RE options at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport in Newport, Rhode Island.

March 1, 2012

OpenEI Now Features Mobile, Web, and Desktop Apps

OpenEI recently launched its apps Web page, including mobile apps and desktop apps. There are currently over 100 apps in the database.

March 1, 2012

United States Can Compete with China in PV Manufacturing

In this analysis we seek to quantify the decision points of two hypothetical solar PV manufacturers that are considering U.S. and non-U.S. production locations.

March 1, 2012

New Models Help Estimate Recoverable Resources from Geothermal Reservoirs

Geopressured geothermal reservoirs are characterized by high temperatures and high pressures with correspondingly large quantities of dissolved methane. Two methods utilizing reservoir simulation techniques have been used to estimate recoverability factors of geothermal brine and methane based on well log data from a specific reservoir in Texas.

February 24, 2012

Results Are In: Greensburg Buildings Save Big on Energy and Costs

Thirteen buildings in Greensburg, Kansas, are saving a combined total of $200,000 in energy costs annually, showcasing energy-saving best practices that can be replicated not only in other communities recovering from disaster, but any location focused on sustainability.

February 23, 2012

Lessons Learned In New Orleans Can Help Other K-12 Schools Achieve Energy Efficiency

In 2005, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, began providing technical assistance to New Orleans' schools to improve energy efficiency and reduce school operating costs.

February 16, 2012

Tribal Clean Energy Projects to Receive $6.5 Million from U.S. Department of Energy

These competitively selected projects will allow Native American Tribes to advance clean energy within their communities by assessing local energy resources, developing renewable energy projects, and deploying clean energy technologies.

February 15, 2012

Recent Workforce Development Activities: A WPA Webinar

An audiovisual file and transcript. The webinar provided a review of some of the outcomes of DOE's recent workforce development projects that focused on creating educational opportunities to prepare students across the country for jobs in the wind energy industry.

February 14, 2012

North Carolina Installs Nine Wind for Schools Projects in 2011: A Wind Powering America Success Story

The achievement can be attributed to the group's preliminary work preparing for the multiple installations, which was rewarded when funding was received late in the year.

February 14, 2012

Wind Powering America Updates Wind Maps Section on Website

New features include additional information and reorganization by market.

February 14, 2012

USDA Launches Energy Website

The website provides access to USDA energy efficiency and renewable energy data, including an interactive Renewable Energy Investment Map, a Renewable Energy Tool, and Energy Matrix.

February 14, 2012

Wind for Schools Project Host School Seeks Sustainability Session Proposals

Priority will be given to sessions that specifically address sustainability in schools and school districts in Colorado. Interactive, non-traditional, and outdoor workshops are encouraged.

February 13, 2012

Renewable Energy for America Program Important, Beneficial Aspect of Farm Bill for Nation

The Renewable Energy for America Program provides grants and loan guarantees for a broad range of clean energy technologies including biomass, wind and solar, which helps farmers and rural small businesses cut their energy bills with new modern technology.

February 1, 2012

Making Solar Energy Available for High Peak Demand

At high penetration of solar generation, there are a number of challenges to economically integrating this variable and uncertain resource. These include the limited coincidence between the solar resource and normal demand patterns and limited flexibility of conventional generators to accommodate variable generation resources.

February 1, 2012

Hybrid Model for Financing Solar PV at Government Sites

This fact sheet describes how the hybrid model works, assesses the model's relative advantages and challenges as compared to self-ownership and the third-party PPA model, provides a quick guide to project implementation, and assesses whether the model is replicable in other jurisdictions across the United States.

February 1, 2012

Variance of Renewable Generation

The analysis in this report, we analyze the risk and return trade-offs for wind and natural gas generation for deregulated markets based on hourly prices and load over a 10-year period using historical data in the PJM Interconnection from 1999 to 2008.

February 1, 2012

Renewable Energy in the WECC Region

This analysis focuses on the status of, and projections for, likely development of non-hydroelectric renewable electricity from solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal resources in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) region.

February 1, 2012

DOE Webinar February 6: National Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Status

National Renewable Energy Laboratory will host a free webinar titled "National Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Status" on Monday, February 6.

February 1, 2012

Renewable Electricity Supply Procurement Options

This report evaluates four procurement strategies (competitive solicitations, bilateral contracting, FITs, and auctions) against four main criteria: (1) pricing; (2) complexity and efficiency of the procurement process; (3) impacts on developers' access to markets; and (4) ability to complement utility decision-making processes.

February 1, 2012

SAM: New Version, New Site

NREL recently released SAM 2011.12.2 for Windows and Mac OS with several new technologies and capabilities, including linear Fresnel CSP, P50/P90 weather variance analysis, and biopower modeling, as well as general improvements, such as PV case study sample files and integrated hourly data plotting.

February 1, 2012

DOE Pulse Features OpenEI

The Department of Energy's online newsletter highlighted the addition of nationwide utility rates to the Open Energy Information platform, or OpenEI.org.

February 1, 2012

In-Depth Study Looks at Solar Installation Workforce

Through primary research, including more than 1,425 completed interviews with U.S. solar installation employers, this report offers labor market data and analysis covering current U.S. employment in the sector, expected industry growth, and employer skill preferences and challenges for solar installation-related occupations.

February 1, 2012

IMBY (V2) Now Available in

The In My Backyard (IMBY) tool estimates the electricity you can produce with a solar PV array or wind turbine at your home or business.

February 1, 2012

ReEDS Model Analyzes Critical Energy Issues

The Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) is a deterministic optimization model of the deployment of electric power generation technologies and transmission infrastructure throughout the contiguous United States into the future.

February 1, 2012

SREC Markets — How They Function and Trends

This paper examines experience in solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) markets in the United States.

January 31, 2012

USDA Issues Rural Energy for America Program Solicitation of Applications

The deadlines to apply for REAP grants and loan guarantees under the most recent solicitation are available.

January 31, 2012

KidWind Project Announces 2012 Wind Senators Program

KidWind is looking for 25 educators who are interested in working with teachers to improve wind energy education in their regions.

January 31, 2012

Independent Expert Science Panel Releases Report on Potential Health Effects of Wind Turbines: Public Meetings and Comment Period

Three public meetings on the report will be held in February as part of a 60-day comment period, open until Monday, March 19 at 5 p.m.

January 30, 2012

August Cellars Wind Turbine Installation: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned

The 50-kilowatt turbine is expected to generate approximately 65% of the winery's electrical needs. Wind Powering America interviewed the facility manager in August 2011 to learn more about this project.

January 18, 2012

Recent Market Acceptance Activities: A WPA Webinar

The webinar included a discussion of three projects that were funded as part of the DOE Wind and Water Power Program's "20% by 2030" funding opportunity to support market acceptance of wind technology.

January 17, 2012

BLM Seeks Comments for Competitive Leasing of Wind Energy on Public Lands

The Bureau is seeking input on how best to offer public lands through a nomination and competitive process instead of just by right-of-way application. The 60-day comment period closes on February 27, 2012.

January 17, 2012

Wind Powering America Hosts Fifth Annual Wind for Schools Summit

The Summit identifies consistent concerns, which in turn allows Wind Powering America to target its technical support better in the future.

January 16, 2012

New Fuel Cell System at U.S. Army Base Adds to NREL's Data-Collection Efforts

The Department of Defense recently flipped the switch on an innovative fuel cell system that will provide emergency backup power at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will collect and analyze real-world performance data on the new system.

January 16, 2012

Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool

The tool allows users to input location and terrain information about a potential wind system site in the United States and predict the energy output and environmental benefits of that site allowing consumers choose the most effective site for their wind energy project.

January 16, 2012

Illinois Wind for Schools Application Due March 1

The program will offer curriculum development resources, teacher professional development, on-site technical assistance, and instructional equipment to middle school and high school teachers across the state.

January 16, 2012

Small Wind Certification Council Issues First Turbine Certifications

The Small Wind Certification Council issued its first two full certifications and consumer labels to the Bergey Windpower Excel 10 and the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7.

January 11, 2012

Solar Trainings Offer Technology Overview for Policymakers, Other Influential Decision Makers

Since June 2010, representatives from NREL have facilitated and coordinated Solar Boot Camp trainings across the country, including Colorado, Hawaii, California, Kentucky, New York, and Atlanta.

January 9, 2012

Opportunities and Challenges in Residential Building-Integrated PV

This report examines the status of BIPV, with a focus on the cost drivers of residential rooftop systems, and explores key opportunities and challenges in the marketplace.

January 5, 2012

Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool: An ASES Small Wind Division Webinar

Learn about the tool's performance prediction, the sources of data, how they're used, how the tool performs against other tools, how it performs against reality.

January 3, 2012

Keys to Local Wind Energy Development Success

Rich VanderVeen, president of Mackinaw Power, LLC in Michigan, outlines some rules of development that can be used by communities across the country to garner support for local wind energy production.

January 3, 2012

Wind for Schools Project Installs Turbines in Arizona and Virginia

In December, Wind for Schools project teams in Arizona and Virginia each installed a new turbine.

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