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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.

Dec. 11, 2019

On with the Wind

Wind turbines with social skills. Potato guns that help researchers better understand wind-wildlife impacts. A fast-growing and long-lasting demand for skilled wind workers. Whatever the story, 2019 saw gale-force developments in wind energy research at NREL, and these currents show no signs of slowing down.

Dec. 5, 2019

NREL Researchers Pursue the Biggest Possible Wind Plant Model

Paul Veers, the chief engineer at NREL's National Wind Technology Center, collaborated with technical experts from around the world to develop an end-to-end resource covering every aspect of wind energy design, modeling, and simulation. The resulting two-volume book, which includes NREL contributions to 10 of the 18 chapters, explains the principal elements behind multiple subsystem models that are needed to create a full-system optimization framework.

Dec. 2, 2019

Pushing the Boundaries of Land-Based Rotor Growth

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) are searching for ways to maximize the advantages of large-scale rotors and their potential for increased energy generation. Their work as part of DOE's Big Adaptive Rotor (BAR) project aims to create the next generation of land-based wind turbines with 206-meter (m) rotors, which will increase capacity factors by 10% or more over a typical land-based turbine.

Nov. 26, 2019

Best of Both Worlds: NREL Optimizes the Control and Design of New Offshore Floating Turbines

NREL and its team of partners and external advisors will incorporate systems control co-design principles--designing and optimizing all system components, including the control system, simultaneously--in a revolutionary toolset to enable offshore floating system engineers to design radically new systems at greatly reduced cost.

Nov. 13, 2019

SpiderFLOAT Spins a Web of Offshore Innovation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) innovative SpiderFLOAT technology—named for its modular components that resemble spider legs—has the potential to reduce these costs by simplifying construction and maintenance logistics for deep-water wind systems in challenging offshore marine environments.

Nov. 6, 2019

Wind Pioneer Paul Veers

NREL Research Fellow Paul Veers learned early that he didn't want to stay on the farm, but instead found the challenge of wind energy and its wind farms a perfect fit.

Oct. 29, 2019

ARPA-E Wind Wins: NREL to Produce Public Datasets that Advance Floating Wind Turbine Design

Next-gen floating wind systems will use controls to make them more efficient, lighter weight, and lower cost, but first industry needs a foundation built on validated design tools to explore novel controls-integrated design approaches. NREL is generating the first public data set to include advanced turbine and platform control using a 1:60-scale testing setup, which will provide data to validate the modeling tools incorporating control co-design characteristics.

Oct. 4, 2019

NREL Staff Discuss Their Research at AWEA Offshore

NREL researchers will attend the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore WINDPOWER Conference alongside staff from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO). The event takes place Oct. 21-23, 2019, in Boston and provides attendees an opportunity to engage in panels, presentations, and discussions about the status and future of offshore wind in the United States.

Oct. 3, 2019

CoMET Brings Together Collaboration in Composite Materials Manufacturing Research

Something about a 200-ft blade, heavier than an elephant, and spinning over 100 miles an hour, seems improbable--a triumph of manufacturing that often leaves onlookers in wonder. At NREL however, wonder is mixed with an ambition to improve. Beneath the towering test turbines at the National Wind Technology Center, NREL hosts a collaborative research environment for the growing composite manufacturing industry to build its skills and push its frontiers.

Oct. 1, 2019

Researcher Champions Scientific Diversity

Ismael Mendoza leverages his experience and passion to attract a new generation of Hispanics to scientific research.

Sept. 30, 2019

Training Convenes Wind-Wildlife Experts To Share Latest Research and Emerging Technologies

Nearly 30 members of the Wind Energy Technologies Office visited the Flatirons Campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to discuss and identify the best wind-wildlife impact minimization strategies for the efficient deployment of cost-effective wind energy projects across the United States.

Sept. 17, 2019

Colorado Case Study Demonstrates In-State and Rural Economic Impacts from Wind Manufacturing and Plant Construction

In-state wind turbine manufacturing and installation support both short-term and long-term jobs and other economic impacts, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) case study of Xcel Energy's 600-MW Rush Creek Wind Farm--Colorado's largest wind energy project. NREL researchers who conducted the study also gained a deeper understanding of how wind plant construction impacts the economies of rural communities, where wind plant construction often occurs.

Sept. 5, 2019

NREL Announces Project Selections to Address Wind-Wildlife Operations Challenges

NREL has selected a new project to receive a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Technology Development and Innovation (TD&I) subcontract. The recipient will collaborate with researchers and technology developers to advance early-stage wildlife monitoring and minimization technologies for use at wind energy facilities.

Aug. 22, 2019

Oregon State University Partners with NREL To Improve Wildlife Impact Minimization System

A surprising combination of sophisticated sensor technology, tennis balls, a potato gun, and a novel deterrent device could hold the answers to preventing eagles from encountering wind turbines.

Aug. 16, 2019

Field Trials Validate Wind Turbine Wake Steering Impact at Scale

NREL researchers believe wind plant operators can increase energy capture using plant-level controls. By steering individual turbine wakes away from downstream turbines, existing facilities can achieve annual energy production gains of 1%-2% depending on the plant size and design.

July 31, 2019

Addressing the Wind Energy Workforce Gap

A new NREL report, The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States: Training, Hiring, and Future Needs, assesses the national wind energy workforce and the hiring needs of the industry, along with the educational programs that are preparing students for work in the wind industry.

July 26, 2019

Workshop Convenes Experts to Evaluate the Cybersecurity of U.S. Wind Farms

Earlier this month, NREL hosted a multi-stakeholder workshop to evaluate the growing potential for cybersecurity vulnerabilities on U.S. wind farms. The workshop, "Assessing the Impact of Cybersecurity on the Nation's Wind Farms," brought together the expertise of researchers across the national lab complex, the wind energy industry, original equipment manufacturers, cybersecurity product vendors, and standards organizations.

July 10, 2019

Tall Towers Tap Greater Wind Resource Potential

As wind technology grows in scale and productivity, researchers continue to look for ways to boost the energy captured while driving down costs.

May 24, 2019

NREL's Advanced Manufacturing Projects Front and Center at InnovationXLab

NREL's recent groundbreaking advanced manufacturing work was on display at the InnovationXLAB Advanced Manufacturing Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on May 7-8.

May 20, 2019

Researchers Help Build Wind's Momentum at AWEA Conference

NREL experts are helping continue the momentum of U.S. wind power at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2019 by making presentations, building industry connections, and sharing their research in a top DOE publication developed for conference attendees.

May 17, 2019

NREL Releases Improved Controls-Oriented Wind Farm Modeling Tool

NREL’s wind plant performance optimization software framework, FLORIS, has been enhanced to provide greater usability and additional representation of flow physics.

April 29, 2019

NREL Partnership Successes Help Transform National Energy Landscape

NREL, which already has some 850 active partnership agreements with more than 500 partners in industry, government, and academia, is helping change the clean energy landscape along with its partners.

April 22, 2019

Your Renewable Energy Technology is Growing Old--What's Next?

While hundreds of millions of tons of trash continue to be dumped into American landfills annually, a growing percentage has been diverted to recycling centers since the first Earth Day in 1970. But these centers aren't set up for renewable energy technologies.

April 17, 2019

NREL Celebrates Bat Appreciation Day

As a founding member of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, NREL has spent 15 years working to protect bats by developing innovative technological solutions to monitor and minimize wind energy's impacts to bats.

March 19, 2019

New Materials Could Lead to Recyclable Wind Blades

Advancements in wind energy have allowed the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere to drop considerably, and all without raising the levelized cost of energy. However, disposing of the materials used to create these energy-efficient machines can be complicated and have unintended consequences. Thanks to researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), this could soon be a thing of the past.

March 6, 2019

REopt Lite Adds Custom Electricity Rates and an Integrated Critical Load Builder

Building owners and energy managers looking to evaluate renewable energy and storage economics for their site can use REopt™ Lite's custom utility rate tariff capabilities and an integrated critical load profile builder—new features that allow a more detailed energy analysis without leaving the tool.

Feb. 25, 2019

News Release: NREL Industry Growth Forum Announces 2019 Presenting Start-Ups

The 30 companies were selected after a competitive application and review process from more than 150 applicants.

Feb. 11, 2019

Wind Turbines Get Social To Improve Wind Power Plant Output

A partnership between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the wind solutions company WindESCo, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's Small Business Voucher Project, aims to improve wind plant performance by applying solutions that facilitate communication among turbines.

Jan. 10, 2019

Collaboration Works To Improve Variable Renewable Energy Modeling

A group of NREL researchers recently collaborated with expert modelers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Electric Power Research Institute to improve the treatment of variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar, in the flagship planning models used by these research organizations.

Jan. 8, 2019

New Substation Will Double Generating Capacity at National Wind Technology Center

This upgrade will enable megawatt-scale research that generates nearly twice that amount of power to occur at the same time--increasing opportunities for more grid-connected technologies, including solar panels, batteries, and additional wind turbines.

Jan. 4, 2019

From Intern to Engineer, Nick Johnson Follows the Wind to NREL

Former tribal energy intern follows the wind to a career at NREL.


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