- Published: 16 December 2022 16 December 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced it plans to award $2.9 million to 11 manufacturers of small- and medium-scale wind turbines. These awards will support technology innovation and mitigate market and regulatory barriers to deployment of distributed wind turbines for use by homeowners, farmers, businesses, and others under DOE’s Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP).
Managed by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, CIP awards cost-shared subcontracts and technical support to manufacturers of small- and medium-sized wind turbines. These awards help manufacturers of wind turbines with less than one megawatt in capacity to:
- Optimize their designs to reduce costs, increase energy production, and enhance grid reliability, resilience, and compatibility with solar power and energy storage systems;
- Develop advanced manufacturing processes to increase production and reduce costs;
- Support distributed wind energy adoption through turbine and component testing for certification to national performance and safety standards; and
- Accelerate pathways for commercialization.
The companies selected for 2022–2023 CIP awards are:
- Bergey Windpower Company (Norman, Oklahoma): To increase access to its flagship 15-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine model, Bergey Windpower will develop a financing solution to reduce upfront costs for residential customers in partnership with a solar financing company.
- Carter Wind Turbines (Wichita Falls, Texas): Carter Wind Turbines will develop a 20% taller, 60-meter tower that will increase energy production and lower costs for its modernized 300-kW wind turbine. The project builds on past CIP awards aimed at opening a broader range of wind resources and applications for Carter Wind Turbines’ medium-scale turbine technology including remote and behind‐the‐meter industrial deployments.
- Eocycle America Corporation (Swanton, Vermont) has been selected for two new CIP awards, under which it will: 1. partner with large corporate agricultural organizations to develop business models for expanding the deployment of distributed wind energy across their properties and 2. complete electrical safety listing of the company’s Eocycle EOX S-16 turbine system to the UL 6142 standard.
- NPS Solutions (Darien, Connecticut): NPS Solutions plans to complete the UL 1741-SA power converter (inverter) electrical listing required for the U.S. market. This listing will demonstrate compliance of NPS Solutions’ 100-kW turbine technology with the latest grid interconnection safety standard, a new requirement for deployment in the U.S. market.
- Pecos Wind Power (Somerville, Massachusetts): Pecos Wind Power will develop the design and tooling for the fabrication of a 14.5-meter wind turbine blade that will lead to a lower-cost 85-kW wind turbine.
- Primus Wind Power (Lakewood, Colorado): Primus Wind Power will test six of its micro wind turbine models for certification to standards set by the American National Standards Institute, American Clean Power Association, and Federal Communications Commission.
- RRD Engineering (Arvada, Colorado): RRD Engineering will begin developing BladeRunner, a 150-kW wind turbine that reduces technology costs through a simpler manufacturing process of blades and support structures and by using readily available materials.
- Sonsight Wind (Grayson, Georgia): Sonsight Wind will manufacture a permanent-magnet generator for its prototype 3.5-kW distributed wind turbine, advancing toward the goal of manufacturing a certified and cost-competitive small-scale distributed wind turbine.
- Windurance LLC (Coraopolis, Pennsylvania): Windurance LLC will design a modular energy storage solution that will be certified by a third party to the UL 1741 standard. The scalable design presents a solution for a wide range of distributed wind turbine sizes (15–160 kW) and applications.
- Windward Engineering (Spanish Fork, Utah): At a test site in Spanish Fork, Utah, Windward Engineering will install and test a prototype 60-kW, three-bladed, downwind, horizontal-axis wind turbine with independent pitch-to-stall control.
- Xflow Energy Company (Seattle, Washington): XFlow Energy Company will optimize its 25-kW, three-bladed, vertical-axis wind turbine, which was originally designed to address the needs of remote communities, to make it suitable for a wide range of customers in the U.S. grid-connected market.