The Energy Department (DOE) announced six new contracts totalling $1.49 million awarded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under the DOE-funded Distributed Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP). Since 2013, the CIP has awarded 22 competitively-selected, cost-shared contracts to 12 different manufacturers and component suppliers for small and medium-sized wind turbine designs.
Through five rounds of CIP, DOE has invested more than $5 million. Combined with awardee cost share, CIP-facilitated technology research and development investment totals over $8 million. These distributed wind investments have yielded numerous cost and efficiency improvements, including new small wind turbine designs, quieter and more efficient rotors, injection-molded carbon fiber blades, and power inverters optimized for distributed wind systems.
The goals of CIP are to make wind energy from small and medium-sized turbines cost competitive with other distributed generation technologies, and increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national safety and performance standards. CIP research efforts aim to reduce hardware costs through advanced manufacturing processes to increase system performance through design optimization, and to conduct turbine testing for certification of system performance and safety. CIP Round 5 contracts were awarded to the following U.S. distributed wind manufacturers and component suppliers:
For the next round of the Competitiveness Improvement Project for distributed wind, on October 13th NREL announced its intention to conduct Round 6 of the CIP request for proposals (RFP) and will host a CIP-focused workshop at the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado on December 6th, 2017.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and to strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.
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