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Energy Dept. Awards Wind Power R&D Grants

Wind turbines at dusk (NREL)

(National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) is awarding more than $5 million to support wind energy development in the U.S., specifically to develop better forecasting tools and improve wind turbine technology.

About two-thirds of the $5 million awarded will go for two projects  to improve short-term wind forecasting, which can better integrate wind power into electricity transmission networks. More accurate forecasts of when and where electricity will be generated from wind can decrease the need for back-up energy sources such as natural gas or hydroelectric power.

AWS Truepower LLC in Albany, New York and WindLogics, Inc. in Saint Paul, Minnesota will work with DoE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to take atmospheric measurements over a broad area, provide data that allow weather prediction systems to improve short-term turbine-level wind forecasts, and demonstrate the value of these forecasting tools for electric utilities.

Three other projects will receive more than $1.8 million to boost the speed and scale of midsize wind turbine technology development and deployment. The funds will be divided among three recipients: Clean Green Energy LLC of Brighton, Michigan, Northern Power Systems in Barre, Vermont, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

These grants aim to strengthen the U.S. midsize turbine market and help address factors that have contributed to slow growth in the midsize wind turbine market to date, including a small number of available midsize turbine models.  The projects aim to advance technologies that lower the installed costs and improve the productivity of midsize turbines.

Related: U.S. Using More Renewables, but Less Energy Overall

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