This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 06, 2009

DOE to Invest $93 Million in Recovery Act Funds in Wind Power

DOE announced on April 29 that it plans to provide $93 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the further development of wind energy in the United States. The funding will support projects that draw on the innovations of DOE's national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to help improve reliability and overcome key technical challenges for the wind industry. These projects will create green jobs, promote economic recovery, and provide the investments needed to increase renewable energy generation. DOE will also invest more than $100 million in Recovery Act funds for facility and infrastructure improvements at its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), including $68 million for the nation's most energy efficient office building, the Research Support Facility, as well as $13.5 million for the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility and $19.2 million for other infrastructure improvements, such as renewable energy systems to help power the laboratory. The Research Support Facility is currently under construction at NREL; see the NREL construction update.

Photo from the rear of a long flat-bed truck carrying a massive wind turbine blade and approaching a curve in the road. The blade stretches to the cab of the truck, which has already passed the curve.

An extra-long truck delivers one blade of a 1.5-megawatt GE wind turbine to DOE's National Wind Technology Center. The turbine is one of two to be erected at the site this summer, and new Recovery Act funds will help connect the new wind turbines to the power grid. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Jim Green, NREL

Of the $93 million in wind energy funding, $10 million will go toward DOE's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), which is part of NREL, to enhance the testing of wind turbine drivetrains and to upgrade the electrical distribution system, allowing NREL to feed power from two new utility-scale wind turbines into the grid. Under previous agreements, the two new turbines will be installed at the NWTC for testing and evaluation. DOE will also award $14 million to support the development of lightweight, advanced materials for wind turbine components and the development of process controls for the manufacture of wind turbine blades. DOE will also offer $69 million through two competitive solicitations: a $24 million solicitation for the development of up to three university and industry consortia, which will focus on critical wind energy challenges, and a $45 million solicitation to support the design and construction of a new drivetrain testing facility for large wind turbines. See the DOE press release and the NREL feature articles on the new funding and the two new wind turbines. To see the Funding Opportunity Announcements for the university and industry consortia and the drivetrain testing facility, search the public opportunities on FedConnect for reference numbers DE-FOA-0000090 (responses due on July 29) and DE-FOA-0000112 (responses due on August 13), respectively.