Competitiveness Improvement Project Selections Will Lower Costs, Improve Technology, and Reduce Market Barriers for Small- and Medium-Sized Wind Turbines
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today 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).
"Competitiveness Improvement Project awards are helping small- and medium-scale wind turbines become a realistic option for rural residents and businesses alike," said Alejandro Moreno, the acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. "By driving down costs and improving technology, these projects can help create more resilient communities and support the Biden administration's goals of reaching 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050."
Distributed wind energy - especially when combined with distributed solar power and, if needed, energy storage - can support local electrification and bolster the distribution system by increasing grid resilience and reliability. A potential scale-up of distributed wind energy could support near-term decarbonization for rural communities as well as agricultural, commercial, and industrial businesses in windy areas - especially in the U.S. Midwest and Heartland regions. Large-scale development of distributed energy resources also reduces reliance on the nation's already constrained transmission network by providing power directly to end users.
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:
Once the 2022-2023 contracts are finalized, NREL will have awarded 64 subcontracts to 26 companies, totaling $15.4 million in DOE funding while leveraging $7.9 million in additional private-sector investment since CIP began in 2012. The project has helped to significantly drive down costs for distributed wind energy, including helping Bergey Windpower Company double the amount of energy produced by its Excel 15 wind turbine and cut its levelized cost of energy in half via awards over several years.
The companies selected for 2022-2023 CIP awards are:
Learn more about CIP.
Learn more about DOE's work on distributed wind energy.
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