The U.S. Department of Energy has announced up to $28.1 million in funding aimed at advancing wind energy nationwide across the onshore, offshore and distributed wind sectors.
Though utility-scale wind energy in the U.S. has grown to 90 GW, significant opportunities for cost reductions remain, according to the DOE.
“Wind power is an important part of America’s energy strategy,” says Rick Perry, DOE secretary. “Research, development and demonstration of innovative wind technologies can continue to drive down costs and expand the success that we’ve seen in the land-based utility-scale wind sector to the emerging distributed wind and offshore wind sectors.”
Areas of interest under the funding opportunity include as follows:
- Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) (up to $6.1 million) Projects will support rural electric utilities and communities through two subtopics: 1) development of distributed wind integrated with other distributed energy resource solutions, and 2) simplification of distributed energy project development through standardized solutions and technical assistance.
- Utilizing and Upgrading National-level Facilities for Offshore Wind R&D (up to $7 million)
- Project Development for Offshore Wind Technology Demonstrations (up to $10 million) This area of interest will fund supplemental project development activities to enable the demonstration of innovative technologies and/or methodologies that reduce offshore wind energy risk and cost at planned U.S. offshore wind plants that will be operational no later than 2025.
- Tall Towers for U.S. Wind Power (up to $5 million) Taller wind turbine towers can enable access to higher wind speeds, thereby increasing energy capture and reducing cost, but continued economies of scale are currently limited by transportation constraints. A project under this area of interest will validate manufacturing innovations and demonstrate cost-effective tall-tower technology that can overcome the transportation constraints currently hindering U.S. wind turbine towers over 140 meters.
Concept papers for this funding opportunity are due April 25, and full applications are due June 15. More information and application requirements can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.