Letter from the Wind Program Director
In this year's offshore wind edition of the Wind Program Newsletter, the Department of Energy (DOE) and its partners want to share with you all of the groundbreaking work being conducted in the area of offshore wind. Two years ago, DOE allocated $43 million to fund a variety of offshore wind research projects, many of which are now releasing results, findings, and tools that can guide and inform the development of U.S. offshore wind projects. More.
In the News
DOE to Host a Booth at Offshore WINDPOWER
The Wind Program will be exhibiting at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore WINDPOWER 2013 Conference & Exhibition in Providence, Rhode Island, from October 22–23, 2013. If you're attending, visit DOE's booth, #401, to learn more about the program's latest offshore wind energy research and development efforts and pick up a copy of the latest publications. On October 21, prior to the conference, DOE Wind Program representatives will be participating in the U.S. Offshore Wind Market and Supply Chain Workshop, which will present results from the DOE-funded annual offshore wind market report. More.
First U.S. Grid-Connected Offshore Wind Turbine Installed Off the Coast of Maine
Castine, Maine — The University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center partnered with Maine Maritime Academy and Cianbro to launch a deepwater offshore floating wind turbine near Bangor. When the turbine was turned on and electricity began flowing through an undersea cable to Central Maine Power on June 13, the VolturnUS 1:8 became the first grid-connected floating offshore wind turbine in the Americas. More.
DOE to Debut a Dynamic 5-Megawatt Dynamometer
Boulder, Colorado — As wind turbine capacity continues to grow, so does the need to test the electrical and mechanical power-producing components of those turbines. Currently, only a few test facilities worldwide have the capability to test wind turbine drivetrains with capacity ratings up to 5 megawatts—and DOE's National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is now one of them. More.
New DOE Report Investigates Port Readiness for Offshore Wind
As offshore wind energy develops in the United States, port facilities will become strategic hubs in the offshore wind supply chain, because all plant and transport logistics must transit through these facilities. Therefore, it is important that federal and state policy-makers and port authorities understand offshore wind's ports requirements in planning future investments. The Department of Energy tasked the independent consultancy GL Garrad Hassan with reviewing the current capability of U.S. ports to support offshore wind project development and assessing the challenges and opportunities related to upgrading this capability to support the targeted capacity growth of as much as 54 gigawatts installed in U.S. waters by 2030. More.
Study Reveals Challenges and Opportunities Related to Vessels for U.S. Offshore Wind
The installation of offshore wind farms requires a highly specialized fleet of vessels—but no such fleet currently exists in the United States. As part of a broader DOE initiative to accelerate the growth of the U.S. offshore wind industry, energy research group Douglas-Westwood identified national vessel requirements under several offshore wind industry growth scenarios. More.
Optimizing Installation, Operation, and Maintenance at Offshore Wind Projects in the United States
For the United States to ensure that the substantial rollout of offshore wind energy projects envisioned by the DOE is carried out in an efficient and cost-effective manner, it is important to observe the current and emerging practices in the international offshore wind energy industry. In this manner, the United States can draw from the experience already gained around the world, combined with experience from the sizeable U.S. land-based wind industry, to develop a strong offshore wind sector. The work detailed in this report will support that learning curve by enabling optimization of the cost-effectiveness of installation, operation, and maintenance activities for offshore wind farms. More.
Stantec Investigates Bat Activity in Atlantic and Great Lakes Offshore Regions
Environmental consulting and engineering firm Stantec is observing patterns in offshore bat activity and species composition in the Gulf of Maine, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic coastal states regions to inform efforts to mitigate potential impacts associated with offshore wind energy development in these regions. More.
Improving Design Methods for Fixed-Foundation Offshore Wind Energy Systems
The design basis for an offshore wind farm establishes the conditions, needs, and requirements to be taken into account in designing the facility. To address design knowledge gaps and facilitate safe deployment of U.S. offshore wind projects in areas along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, DOE is funding research by a team consisting of DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory, Coastal Carolina University, MMI Engineering, and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. More.
New DOE Modeling Tool Estimates Economic Benefits of Offshore Wind Plants
To help developers more readily estimate the economic benefits of offshore wind plants, DOE recently released a new version of the Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) input-output modeling tool. The original tool was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to estimate the economic impacts of constructing renewable power plants. The updated version allows users to better understand the potential regional economic impacts of offshore wind development. More.
Making Offshore Wind Areas Available for Leasing
When the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) needed a process to delineate the bureau's proposed offshore Wind Energy Areas (WEA) into auctionable leasing areas, the agency turned to DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Under an interagency agreement, wind energy experts from NREL helped develop a process to evaluate BOEM's designated offshore WEAs in terms of energy production, resource, water depth, and other physical criteria and delineate specific WEAs into two or more leasing areas. More.
DOE and Industry Partners Drive the Design of an Innovative Drivetrain
Building on its role as a world-class research facility, DOE's National Wind Technology Center at NREL—along with CREE, DNV KEMA, GE Wind, Romax Technology, Vattenfall Windpower, and DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory—developed an innovative, medium-speed, medium-voltage wind turbine drivetrain design. Tapping into unparalleled expertise, the team created a drivetrain that can increase reliability, decrease mass, improve efficiency, and reduce the cost of wind energy. In addition, the drivetrain design can scale up to ratings as high as 10 megawatts (MW) while maintaining the lowest possible costs. More.
Argonne National Laboratory Develops Extreme-Scale Wind Farm Simulation Capabilities
Researchers at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory are developing a computational simulation tool to conduct studies of complex flow and wind turbine interactions in large land-based and offshore wind farms that will improve wind plant design and reduce the levelized cost of energy. Simulations on a wind-plant-scale require accurate simultaneous resolution of multiple flow scales, from mesoscale weather to turbine-blade scale turbulence, which presents special demands on the computational solver efficiency and requires extreme scalability. More.
New Report: Integrating More Wind and Solar Reduces Utilities' Carbon Emissions and Fuel Costs
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released Phase 2 of the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS-2), a follow-up to the initial WWSIS released in May 2010, which examined the viability, benefits, and challenges of integrating as much as 33% wind and solar power into the electricity grid of the western United States. More.
In addition to providing this quarterly R&D Newsletter, the DOE Wind Program also offers timely updates on funding opportunities, events, and publications.
Request for Proposals
Distributed Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project — Component and Manufacturing Process Improvements (CIP-CM), Solicitation #RFC-3-23072
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE are soliciting proposals from subcontractors willing to pursue low-risk, high-impact, incremental component and manufacturing improvements for distributed wind turbine systems. The objective of the CIP-CM is to expand and revitalize U.S. leadership in the domestic and international wind turbine market sector by assisting U.S. manufacturers in lowering the levelized cost of energy of wind turbines through component improvements and manufacturing process upgrades.
Distributed Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project — Turbine Testing (CIP-TT), Solicitation #RFC-3-23530
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE are soliciting proposals from distributed wind turbine manufacturers willing to subject wind turbine prototypes for design evaluation, certification testing, and certification. The objective of the CIP-TT is to expand and revitalize U.S. leadership in the domestic and international wind turbine market sector by assisting U.S. manufacturers in lowering the levelized cost of energy of wind turbines through turbine testing.
Wind Program Events
- U.S. Offshore Wind Market and Supply Chain Workshop
- AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference
- AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium
- AWEA Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Seminar
For more wind power-related events, see Wind Program Events.
- Analysis of Offshore Wind Energy Leasing Areas for the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Wind Energy Area
- A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States
- Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Leasing Areas for the BOEM Maryland Wind Energy Area
- Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Leasing Areas for the BOEM New Jersey Wind Energy Area
- Beyond Renewable Portfolio Standards: An Assessment of Regional Supply and Demand Conditions Affecting the Future of Renewable Energy in the West
- Final Report DE-EE0005380 Assessment of Offshore Wind Farm Effects on Sea Surface, Subsurface and Airborne Electronic Systems
- Information Synthesis on the Potential for Bat Interactions with Offshore Wind Facilities: Final Report
- International Energy Agency Wind 2012 Annual Report
- Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) Model: Offshore Wind User Reference Guide
- Navigant Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis, Annual Market Assessment
- National Wind Technology Center to Debut a New Dynamometer (Fact Sheet)
- U.S. Offshore Wind Port Readiness
- Western Wind and Solar Integration Study: Phase II