The US Department of Energy has selected 13 projects to receive a total of US$28M to advance wind energy technology
The DOE said that although utility-scale, land-based wind energy in the US has grown to 96 GW, significant opportunities for cost reduction remain, especially in offshore wind, distributed wind, and tall wind.
DOE assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Dan Simmons said, “These projects will be instrumental in driving down technology costs and increasing consumer options for wind across the US.”
The projects span the technology development spectrum, including testing, demonstration, integration, and technical assistance and all three wind energy sectors: distributed, offshore,and land-based utility-scale wind.
Of the 13 projects, six projects will receive a total of US$7M to conduct testing in support of innovative offshore wind research and development utilising existing national testing facilities. Two of these projects involve upgrades to the facilities.
Clemson University in North Charleston, South Carolina will improve offshore wind nacelle testing through a hardware-in-the-loop capability enabling concurrent mechanical, electrical, and controller testing on a 7.5-MW dynamometer at its wind turbine drivetrain testing facility.
Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will upgrade its soil-foundation interaction laboratory to combine computer simulation with physical testing to model the impact of wind, waves, currents, and other factors on offshore wind turbine structures.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in Boston, Massachusetts will upgrade its Wind Technology Testing Center to enable structural testing of 85-m to 120-m blades.
Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon will use numerical models to simulate the combined effects of wind and waves on floating offshore wind turbines in a wave basin.
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts will quantify the effects of fatigue on the stiffness, strength, and durability of various marine concrete mixtures to facilitate development of cost-effective, resilient concrete offshore wind support structures.
University of Massachusetts–Lowell will develop and validate a novel autonomous method using measured acoustic pressure to detect degradation and damage in wind turbine blades.
Two offshore wind technology demonstration projects will receive a total of US$10M to conduct additional project development activity that will enable demonstration of innovative technologies or methodologies to reduce offshore wind energy risk and cost.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio will use novel sensing technology to characterise the activity of birds near its project site in Lake Erie.
The University of Maine at Orono will develop a floating substructure for a 10-12 MW floating offshore wind demonstration project planned for deployment off Monhegan Island, Maine.