Enlarge image
In the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) Insight Center, NREL Senior Engineer Pat Moriarty, left, and NREL Senior Engineer Paul Fleming review velocity (blue) and turbulence (yellow) in a simulation of the Lillgrund Wind Farm in Denmark. The researchers have written the open-source software tool Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA), which can calculate how undulating ground, whipping blades, surface temperatures, and other variables alter the air flow and energy production at wind farms. All photos are by NREL’s Dennis Schroeder.

NREL software lets engineers see how wind behaves and more

Wind energy is so close to achieving cost parity with fossil fuels that just a little extra efficiency is all that is likely needed to push it into the mainstream and past the Energy Department’s goal of 20% wind energy by 2030. That extra efficiency may be realized with the help of a software developed

Nrel industry growth forum

NREL industry growth forum attracts clean energy entrepreneurs and investors

Forum to feature business presentations from 30 clean energy startups, networking opportunities, compelling panels and speakers Thirty clean energy companies will present their business cases to a panel of investors and industry experts Oct. 28 and 29 in Denver, as the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) hosts its annual Industry Growth Forum. The

Scenes like this could become common if the U.S. is to take advantage of its abundant offshore wind.

U.S. has resources to support more than 54 GW of offshore wind, says NOWEGIS study

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study – led by ABB, AWS Truepower, Duke Energy, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Pittsburgh – concludes three-year investigation with positive outlooks for US-based offshore wind potential by 2030. The US Department of Energy (DOE)-funded “National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection

Dark yellow and green lines represent the projected cost of natural gas-fired generation based on reference case fuel prices derived from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) (EIA 2013b); for wind the dark blue line represents the generation cost associated with wind plants operating in median wind resource quality sites plus cost adders to reflect the provision of consistent capacity and energy resources to the system. More specifically, when comparing wind with new gas-fired generation (left), cost adders are included to reflect the incremental system capacity ($5/MWh as reported by EnerNex [2010], IEA [2010], Milligan and Porter [2008]) required to provide a capacity value comparable to a new combined cycle gas-fired plant and to cover incremental balancing expenditures ($2/MWh as summarized by Wiser and Bolinger [2013]) associated with the addition of variable generation into the power system. When comparing wind with existing gas-fired generation (right), as a fuel saver and assuming no need for additional capacity, only the balancing expenditures cost adder is included. 7 Wind cost reductions are based on the median, 25th, and 75th percentile literature cost reduction trajectory for wind power (Lantz et al. 2012). Bands represent uncertainty in projected costs as reported by Lantz et al. (2012) for wind and EIA (2013b) for natural gas. High and low gas prices are based on prices reported in the EIA’s AEO low and high resource recovery scenarios. The gaps between the median wind cost reduction trajectory (dark blue line) and the reference case gas-fired generation cost (dark yellow and green lines) are used to inform the development of ramp-down scenarios discussed in Section 2.

Implications of a PTC extension on U.S. wind deployment

This technical report come from NREL. The preface and executive summary are here. Preface This work responds to a request made in October 2012 by Senator Jeff Bingaman, who has since retired. At the time, Senator Bingaman was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senator Bingaman requested that the National

Joshua Kaufman is the Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder, Pika Energy

Pika Energy selected by NREL to drive down cost of small wind power

Wind turbine manufacturer wins $700,000 for efficient manufacturing processes and scaled-up designs to drive cost savings in small wind market Pika Energy, a Maine-based manufacturer of residential wind turbines and wind-solar hybrid systems, says it has been selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for two projects totaling $700,000 of funding, to improve the competitiveness of generating

NREL's Nate Blair and Suzanne Tegen take a look at NREL's Solar Prospector tool, which provides information about the sun's resource potential at any spot in the nation. Industry is using models created by NREL to plan for renewable energy installations.
Photos by NREL’s Dennis Schroeder

Investors find assistance with NREL wind and solar models

This article, from Nrel, is authored by Bill Scanlon Whenever utilities debate the merits of a wind farm or investors mull the potential return on a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, there’s a good chance that the performance and risk models created by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) come into play. Questions investors

Sandia blade repair collab

Materials, reliability, & standards blade reliability collaborative

The Blade Reliability Collaborative (BRC) has focused recently on inspection methods to find flaws and damage in blades, and the effect of those defects on structural and aerodynamic performance.  Additionally, the project has started a new effort looking at repair methods. Researchers at Sandia have completed design and manufacturing of non-destructive inspection (NDI) test panels

laufer wind

Successful FAA trial announced of Laufer Wind radar-activated obstruction lighting system

Laufer Wind has announced the successful demonstration of its Aircraft Detection Sight Solution (ADSS), the first-ever trial against a radar-activated obstruction lighting system on a wind farm in the U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) participated in the trial. The company develops radar-activated lighting for utility

NREL 3_large

NREL supercomputer tackles grid challenges

“Big data” is playing an increasingly big role in the renewable energy industry and the transformation of the nation’s electrical grid, and no single entity provides a better tool for such data than the Energy Department’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) located on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Imagined by NREL leaders who

A hydrogen powered car refuels at an NREL station.

NREL and General Motors announce R&D partnership to reduce cost of automotive fuel cells

Editor’s note: This is significant because hydrogen will be a primary fuel for fuel cells and wind generated power will have a role to play electrolyzing water into hydrogen and oxygen. The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and General Motors (GM) are partnering on a multiyear, multimillion dollar joint effort to accelerate the