Washington D.C., United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] DOE announced last week that it plans to provide US $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.
Of the $93 million in wind energy funding, $10 million will go toward DOE’s National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), which is part of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (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.
DOE will also invest more than $100 million in Recovery Act funds for facility and infrastructure improvements at its 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 re newable energy systems to help power the laboratory. The Research Support Facility is currently under construction at NREL.