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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

December 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.

December 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 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.

November 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.

November 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.

November 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.

November 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.

November 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.

November 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 30, 2014

Impacting Innovation and Commercialization: NREL's Partnering Facilities

The award-winning Energy Systems Integration Facility is the latest addition to NREL's partnering sites.

October 30, 2014

Helping Fort Carson Meet DOD Energy Goals

NREL's diverse projects with the Department of Defense at Fort Carson guide energy improvements that are moving the Army toward its visionary energy goals.

October 30, 2014

Industry Growth Forum Cultivates Clean Energy Entrepreneurship

NREL's Industry Growth Forum brings together clean energy entrepreneurs and investors to facilitate the movement of innovation into the marketplace.

October 30, 2014

Finding New Ways to Foster Clean Energy Partnerships

With expanding DOE support and enhanced business agility, NREL is better positioned than ever before to help move big ideas to market.

October 30, 2014

R&D 100 Awards Demonstrate Clean Energy Legacy

NREL has won 57 R&D 100 Awards since 1982, many of which led directly to industry successes today.

October 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.

October 30, 2014

From the Start: NREL Nurtures a Growing Wind Industry

The National Wind Technology Center grew from a site for testing small turbines into the nation's premier research facility for wind energy technologies, helping the wind industry grow with it.

October 30, 2014

NREL's Newest Partnership Tool Increases Flexibility

The Wells Fargo Foundation and NREL are unveiling a novel $10 million, five-year agreement at NREL's annual Industry Growth Forum, taking the next step in a growing collaboration.

October 30, 2014

Connecting Tech to Market in New Ways

NREL has found the means to reach its goal of growing long-lasting relationships that bring scientific innovation to market.

October 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.

September 16, 2014

Special Notice: 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory issues this Special Notice that it will release a request for proposals seeking teams of undergraduate students to participate in the 2016 DOE Collegiate Wind Competition.

September 16, 2014

NREL Forges Foundation for Advanced Concentrating Solar Power Receivers

NREL's Thermal Systems Group is performing research and development on components for high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) receivers as part of DOE's SunShot effort. DOE supports R&D of CSP technologies in order to achieve SunShot Initiative cost targets with systems that can supply solar power on demand through the use of thermal energy storage. The thermal energy from the receiver can be stored and subsequently dispatched to produce electricity via a turbine driving a generator.

September 9, 2014

Electric Vehicles Charge Up Local and National Events

NREL is sponsoring National Drive Electric Week events in Denver and Boulder this month.

September 4, 2014

New Report Characterizes Existing Offshore Wind Grid Interconnection Capabilities

The Energy Department has released the National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study (NOWEGIS), which considers the availability and potential impacts of interconnecting large amounts of offshore wind energy into the transmission system of the lower 48 contiguous United States.

September 3, 2014

NREL Assesses National Design Standards for Offshore Wind Energy Projects

NREL recently released the Assessment of Offshore Wind System Design, Safety, and Operation Standards report, which summarizes regulations, standards, and guidelines for the design and operation of offshore wind energy projects in the United States.

August 15, 2014

Webinar August 19: Increasing Renewable Energy with Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cell Technologies

This webinar will feature representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and focus on how to integrate hydrogen and fuel cell technologies into the transportation, industrial, and other sectors.

July 30, 2014

Boosting Wind Plant Power Output by 4%–5% through Coordinated Turbine Controls

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Simulator Of Wind Farm Applications is shedding new light on the causes of wind plant underperformance and how, with the use of coordinated wind turbine control, power output can be increased by as much as 4% or 5%

July 30, 2014

WEC-Sim Aims to Bring New Wave Energy Devices to the Surface of an Emerging Industry

From a technology development standpoint, Mike Lawson likens today's wave energy industry to the wind industry in the 1970s or '80s. There are tens—maybe hundreds—of concepts for wave energy converters (WECs) in various stages of development, but no single solution has been established as commercially viable yet.

July 30, 2014

NREL Plays Founding, Developmental Role in Major Wind Journal

In the late 1990s, global wind capacity was just under 8,000 megawatts, compared to well over 100 gigawatts today. Back then, although the wind industry was growing, wind scientists and engineers were not well-connected with each other on a global basis. There was a need for an unbiased, scientific, peer-reviewed publication that offered wind professionals the opportunity to publish their work, learn about each other's research, and exchange ideas.

July 30, 2014

NREL Investigates the Logistics of Transporting and Installing Bigger, Taller Wind Turbines

To address wind turbine transportation and logistics challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Program is supporting projects to develop cost-competitive solutions to better fabricate, transport, assemble, maintain, and decommission turbines with hub heights of at least 120 meters.

July 30, 2014

New 100-Meter Map Keeps Pace with Growing Wind Technology

According to a wind resource assessment published by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, the United States has a land-based wind energy potential of 10,957 GW at an 80-m wind turbine hub height and 12,771 GW of capacity at 100-m hub heights, assuming a capacity factor of at least 30%.

July 29, 2014

Pennsylvania State University Wins Big in Las Vegas

Ten college teams took up the challenge to create a wind turbine-based charging system for small electronic devices, develop a business plan, and then design, build, and test a small wind turbine as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition held concurrently with the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference.

July 29, 2014

NREL Supports Innovative Offshore Wind Energy Projects

In December 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it would fund seven offshore wind demonstration projects as part of an effort to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States

July 2, 2014

Transportation RD&D Recognized with DOE Awards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized four members of NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center team with awards at last week’s 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings. The annual meetings provide researchers leading projects funded by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office with an opportunity to share accomplishments with representatives from DOE, industry, and other labs.

June 27, 2014

Energy Department Awards NREL Staff for Outstanding Achievement

At the 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program honored three National Renewable Energy Laboratory staff for their outstanding achievements.

June 6, 2014

A Survey of State-Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards

In this webinar, analysts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discuss findings in their recent paper, which surveys and summarizes cost and benefit estimates of state-level RPS and examines the methods used to create these estimates.

June 2, 2014

Technology Transfer Capabilities in the News

NREL's technology transfer capabilities, and the laboratory's own Bill Farris, were highlighted in a recent Chief Executive publication.

May 30, 2014

Model Car Races Put Creativity on the Line

Middle school students' design and engineering skills tested on the racetrack.

May 23, 2014

Webinar May 27: NREL's Fuel Cell Contaminants Database

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office will present a webinar on NREL’s online data tool for fuel cell system-derived contaminants. NREL has led a multi-year project studying the effect of system-derived contaminants on the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

May 22, 2014

NREL Offers up to $6.5 Million for INTEGRATE Projects at the ESIF

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced up to $6.5 million in funding for high-impact research, development, and demonstration in the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

May 12, 2014

In Largest U.S. Wind Power Markets, Curtailment Declines even as Wind Power Picks Up

This report examines U.S. curtailment practices regarding wind and solar generation, with a particular emphasis on utilities in the western states.

May 1, 2014

Collegiate Wind Competition Turbines Go Blade-to-Blade in Wind Tunnel Tests at WINDPOWER

Ten small wind turbines will go blade-to-blade in wind tunnel tests at the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition that runs concurrently with the AWEA 2014 WINDPOWER Conference, May 6–7, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

April 3, 2014

Analysis Reveals Impact of Road Grade on Vehicle Energy Use

A new study sheds light on the incremental energy requirements imposed by road grade.

March 24, 2014

NREL Study Indicates Economic Potential for Wyoming Wind Transmission to California

A new study from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that the economic benefit of transmitting wind energy from Wyoming to the California energy market are likely to exceed the cost.

March 24, 2014

NREL Leads Demo of New Energy Management System at U.S. Naval Base

NREL Leads Demo of New Energy Management System at U.S. Naval Base

March 12, 2014

Energy Efficient Window Coatings that Please the Eye

NREL partnerships expand market reach and provide more energy saving options.

March 12, 2014

NREL Provides a Foundation for Home Energy Performance

NREL-led guidelines effort enables breakthroughs for the home energy performance industry.

March 12, 2014

Building Better: Advanced Energy Design Guides

When national labs and partnering organizations empower the commercial building industry with how-to guides for energy savings, the impact is clear.

March 12, 2014

Computing Advances Enable More Efficient Buildings

Computers, apps, and visualization tools open up new possibilities to improve the energy performance of buildings.

March 12, 2014

Net-Zero Building Technologies Create Substantial Energy Savings

Researchers work to package and share step-by-step information for decision making around net-zero energy building technologies.

March 12, 2014

Smart Occupancy Sensor Debuts

NREL's R&D 100 Award-winning occupancy sensor offers a low-cost, high-impact solution to a pressing market challenge: improving building energy performance.

March 12, 2014

Energy Efficient Demonstration Proves Powerful in Home Retrofits

NREL recommendations demonstrate substantial savings for the Navy.

March 5, 2014

Webinar March 11: National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center

The presentation will highlight NFCTEC efforts to accelerate fuel cell commercialization through analysis of technologies operating under real-world conditions.

February 19, 2014

NREL Report Quantifies Value of Two CSP Technologies with Thermal Energy Storage

NREL has found that parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, despite different solar profiles. A new NREL report shows increasing importance for systems with thermal energy storage. The report also demonstrates that multiple CSP technologies and plant configurations can be analyzed using traditional planning tools such as production cost models.

February 3, 2014

Using Fuel Cells to Increase the Range of Battery Electric Vehicles

A team of NREL analysts identified potential cost-effective scenarios for using small fuel cell power units to increase the range of medium-duty battery electric vehicles.

January 27, 2014

NREL Joins Initiative to Boost Power Electronics Energy Efficiency and Job Market

In an initiative announced on January 15, NREL is joining North Carolina State University in the Energy Department's new Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Next Generation Power Electronics to accelerate development and commercialization of wide bandgap technology, as well as reinvigorate the U.S. manufacturing sector.

January 23, 2014

DOE Issues Request for Information on Biological Hydrogen Production

The DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office has issued a request for information seeking feedback regarding biological hydrogen production R&D pathways, barriers, issues, and opportunities. Feedback is specifically requested on the report for the Biological Hydrogen Production Workshop.

January 23, 2014

Collegiate Wind Competition Set to Blow into Vegas in May

To help the nation’s future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs continue to advance the wind industry, the Energy Department (DOE) established the first everDOE Collegiate Wind Competition. The competition will be held May 5–7 alongside the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) WINDPOWER® 2014 Conference & Exhibition at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

January 8, 2014

NREL Hydrogen Expert Sees Promise in New Discovery

Producing hydrogen directly from the sun -- and in a way that is commercially viable -- is more a reality, less a pipedream, thanks in part to a new discovery, renowned hydrogen water-splitting expert John Turner stated in a commentary in the journal Science.

January 3, 2014

New Modularization Framework Transforms FAST Wind Turbine Modeling Tool

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released an expanded version of its FAST wind turbine computer-aided engineering tool under a new modularization framework.

January 2, 2014

The Denver Post Highlights the NWTC’s New 5-MW Dynamometer

On January 2, a reporter from The Denver Post toured the new 5-megawatt dynamometer test facility at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).

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