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

July 30, 2014

Energy Department Announces Distributed Wind Competitiveness Projects

The Energy Department and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory on July 24 announced $1.27 million in funding for four projects that will help drive down the cost of small- and medium-sized wind energy systems, which made up more than two-thirds of all wind turbines installed in the United States in the last decade. Funded through the second round of the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP), the teams are led by Pika Energy of Westbrook, Maine; Northern Power Systems of Barre, Vermont; Endurance Wind Power of Spanish Forks, Utah; and Urban Green Energy of New York, New York.

In support of the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, this funding aims to help U.S. manufacturers improve their turbine designs and manufacturing processes to reduce hardware costs, improve efficiency, and eventually earn certification from accredited third-party certification bodies. These bodies issue easy-to-understand labels showing a turbine has met performance and safety testing requirements set by the wind industry.

Distributed wind systems are typically installed on residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, or community sites, and can range in size from 5 kilowatts (kW) to multiple megawatts, depending on their application. While these wind systems vary widely in size, the CIP focuses on small- and medium-sized turbines up to 250 kW in rated capacity. See the Energy Department news release.