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Wind Energy News

Stay up to date on the latest wind energy research and development news at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Oct. 19, 2020

Wind Energy and Wildlife Share Future in the Skies and Seas

NREL researchers are collaborating with academic, conservation, regulatory, and industry partners to understand the potential effects of offshore wind installations on the environment while maintaining optimal energy production.

Oct. 8, 2020

Data Show Big Gains for Offshore Wind

Global installed offshore wind capacity reached 27,064 MW in 2019—a 19% increase from the previous year. This and other trends can be found in the "2019 Offshore Wind Technology Data Update," released by NREL on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office.

Oct. 2, 2020

Updated OpenOA Software Improves Energy Production Predictions To Reduce Investment Risk

A new version of OpenOA has been released, which includes features designed to help wind plant operators identify and analyze the different factors that drive wind plant performance.

Oct. 2, 2020

Wind Workforce Webinar Series Offers Insights, Information, and Solutions

To help the wind industry recruit the best and brightest and to provide students with the essential resources to set them on a path toward a rewarding career in the wind energy workforce, NREL, in partnership with the American Wind Energy Association, hosted a three-part Wind Workforce Webinar Series as part of American Wind Week.

Oct. 2, 2020

News Release: R&D 100 Awards Honor Six NREL Innovations

R&D World magazine today presented NREL with four of its annual R&D 100 Awards for research innovations. In addition to the R&D 100 winners, two additional NREL technologies were given Special Recognition Awards.

Sept. 15, 2020

Renewables Rescue Stability as the Grid Loses Spin

Across the world, renewable power is displacing traditional generation, but can renewables also replace the critical stability functions that go with it? NREL studies are confirming in the field and on live power systems that solar, wind, and hybrid power plants can provide their own source of grid stability—potentially unlike anything currently on the grid.

Sept. 9, 2020

NREL Selects U.S. Manufacturers To Develop Next-Generation Distributed Wind Technologies

Seven U.S. manufacturers selected to enter into negotiation to receive DOE Competitiveness Improvement Project awards, designed to accelerate deployment of small- and medium-sized wind turbines across the country and lower the cost of energy from distributed wind.

Sept. 1, 2020

New Open-Source Modeling Tool Enables Design of Large, Flexible Wind Turbines

NREL recently released cOnvecting LAgrangian Filaments (OLAF), a new wake module included in NREL's OpenFAST wind turbine simulation tool. Programmed to generate realistic representations of the wakes of large, flexible turbine blades, OLAF can provide a complex, accurate model of the physics of turbine wakes, yet it can still run on a personal computer.

Aug. 26, 2020

NREL Seeks Turbine Manufacturer Partners for Distributed Wind Research

In an effort to advance distributed wind energy innovation, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory invites manufacturers to express their interest in installing distributed-scale wind turbines as research hardware at NREL's Flatirons Campus, located south of Boulder, Colorado.

Aug. 18, 2020

NREL Notice of Intent for 2022 DOE Collegiate Wind Competition

NREL plans to issue a request for proposals in September 2020 for colleges and universities interested in participating in the DOE Collegiate Wind Competition in the spring of 2022. The competition is designed to help prepare college students from a variety of backgrounds for careers in wind energy.

Aug. 7, 2020

NREL Floats New Offshore Wind Cost Optimization Vision

A study unveils a new strategic vision for floating offshore wind. NREL researchers identify barriers that must be overcome to bring down the overall cost of energy produced, then outline a vision for an integrated systems approach with the potential to significantly improve the market feasibility of floating wind plants.

July 24, 2020

Tomorrow's Forecast: Sunny with a Strong Chance of Wind

Meteorologists, engineers, and geographic information system experts at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are leading wind resource characterization efforts essential to the development of offshore wind.

July 21, 2020

Hats Off and Happy Trails to NREL Wind and Water Pioneer Bob Thresher

From his trademark black hat to his legendary one-liners and singing contributions to the Wind Weenie Wailers, Research Fellow Bob Thresher undoubtedly cuts a memorable, larger-than-life figure. When asked to describe him, Thresher's colleagues label him as everything from "pioneer" and "mentor" to "friend," "hero," and even "rock star." They are not all misty-eyed tributes, however.

July 9, 2020

2020 Annual Technology Baseline Electricity Data Now Available

Released each year, electricity-generation technology cost and performance data power forward-looking analyses at NREL and beyond.

July 2, 2020

International Collaboration To Bring Wind into the Distributed Energy Mainstream

Spotting a solar panel on a rooftop or powering a small health center in a rural community was once rare. Fast forward a decade and the on-site, distributed solar energy boom is now powering everything from single-family homes to entire industries. Could that successful model be applied to wind energy?

June 29, 2020

Virtual Collegiate Wind Competition Adds New Dimension to Wind Workforce Development

After four days of online presentations, the U.S. DOE announced the winners of the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition. The award for the Turbine Digital Design contest went to California State University Maritime Academy, while James Madison University claimed the award for the Project Development contest.

June 25, 2020

NREL Volunteers Design and Print Face Shields for Colorado Medical Facilities

As health care workers continue to fight on the front lines, NREL volunteers do what they can to help by manufacturing face shields for healthcare workers, paramedics, and firefighters in Colorado.

June 11, 2020

National Oceans Month: Celebrating Careers in Marine Energy

During National Oceans Month, we celebrate water power researchers who are discovering innovative ways to harness marine energy to generate electricity.

June 10, 2020

Scientific Collaboration Buoys Future of Offshore Wind

Offshore wind, with its potential for domestic electricity-generating capacity of more than 2,000 gigawatts, could supply enough electricity to meet the needs of the entire United States twice over. NREL researchers are working with partners to make reliable, affordable, and accessible offshore wind energy a reality.

June 5, 2020

NREL Wind Experts Lead Global Efforts

Global Wind Day, celebrated worldwide on June 15, offers an opportunity to highlight NREL's leadership in wind energy research. On behalf of the U.S. DOE, NREL represents the United States by participating in 16 of the 18 International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Programme research tasks.

June 5, 2020

NREL Projects Headline Energy Department Wind R&D Newsletter

From workforce development programs that prepare young people for jobs in the wind industry to a new reference wind turbine that expands capabilities to assess offshore designs, NREL led some exciting projects featured in the Wind Energy Technologies Office's biannual Research and Development Newsletter.

May 20, 2020

Wind for Schools: Supporting Teachers and Students in Distance Learning

NREL is supporting distance learning for K-12 students through exciting, hands-on Wind for Schools programs such as KidWind and NEED (National Energy Education Development).

May 13, 2020

Webinar Series Inspires Tomorrow's Wind Energy Innovators

Learn about the Wind Workforce Webinar Series and how we are bringing the wind energy experts to you.

May 6, 2020

Two NREL Studies Find Gulf of Mexico Well Positioned for Offshore Wind Development

The Gulf of Mexico presents many advantages and unique challenges for offshore wind. Now, two recent studies conducted by NREL and funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have yielded promising results for the future of offshore wind energy in this region.

April 21, 2020

Greening Industry: Building Recyclable, Next-Generation Turbine Blades

NREL's pioneering thermoplastics work is helping close the circle, ensuring today's blades become tomorrow's blades, too.

April 9, 2020

NREL Research Makes Skies Safer for Bats

Bats are notoriously difficult to study, and there is still much we do not know about them. To help improve understanding of bats and their behavior around wind turbines, NREL is collaborating on several research and development projects funded by the U.S. DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office. These efforts are helping minimize wind turbine-bat encounters through monitoring, deterrence, and curtailment.

April 8, 2020

NREL Extends Deadline for DOE Competitiveness Improvement Project Proposals to May 5

NREL has extended the U.S. Department of Energy's Competitiveness Improvement Project distributed wind request for proposals submission deadline to May 5 at 2 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

April 2, 2020

Floating Wind Turbines on the Rise

Over 26,000 megawatts (MW) of planned offshore wind capacity exists in the offshore wind development pipeline. Rapidly falling technology costs for offshore wind, including floating offshore wind technology, have aided the growth of this pipeline, and promise to help wind become a significant part of the power mix in coastal communities.

March 10, 2020

NREL Demonstrates New Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing Methods and Technology

NREL researchers demonstrated a new advanced material used to manufacture wind turbine blades to manufacturing industry representatives during a Women in Manufacturing (WiM) event.

March 9, 2020

NREL Boosts Speed and Accuracy of Wind Plant Optimization Model

NREL has released a new version of its FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady State (FLORIS) model for wind plant performance optimization. The latest update enhances FLORIS's ability to accurately design and analyze wind farm control strategies for larger arrays of turbines.

Feb. 27, 2020

NREL Issues Request for Proposals To Enhance Distributed Wind

At a glance, the towns of Norman, Oklahoma, and Potsdam, New York, have little in common. You can say the same about Lakewood, Colorado, and Grayson, Georgia. In fact, all of these towns have one thing in common: a small business that applied for, and won funding from, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) for distributed wind.

Feb. 18, 2020

Latest Data Book Shows U.S. Renewable Capacity Surpassed 20% for First Time in 2018

New edition also shows continued growth in U.S. installed wind and solar photovoltaic capacity, energy storage, and electric vehicle sales.

Feb. 12, 2020

New Reference Turbine Gives Offshore Wind an Upward Draft

NREL recently released the International Energy Agency 15-megawatt reference turbine, or IEA 15-MW for short, which features options for both fixed-bottom turbines and those with floating substructures. This open-source model can accommodate multiple software tools and will provide industry, researchers, and academics a public-domain tool for designing next-generation offshore wind turbines.

Feb. 6, 2020

NREL To Help New York Bight Fishing Communities and Offshore Wind Farms Share the Seas

NREL was recently selected by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for a two-year, $500,000 collaboration with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) and Global Marine Group to develop solutions to address commercial fishing access in U.S. offshore wind farms.

Jan. 13, 2020

When Wind Sweeps into Communities

Wind farm development in the United States often takes place in rural areas with land that is largely the property of farmers and ranchers who lease their land to developers. With wind power capacity additions projected to continue growing, rural residents often wonder if wind energy will be a good neighbor.

Jan. 9, 2020

New Open-Source Model Works to Improve Wind Power Plant Cost Estimation and Design

The contiguous United States has the technical resource potential to generate up to 32,700 terawatt-hours of electricity per year--more than eight times the amount of electricity consumed in the United States in 2018. However, significant cost and performance improvements in wind power technology are needed for the wind industry to reach this potential.

Jan. 2, 2020

Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage

An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn't always shine, is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it's also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy until it's needed.

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