The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced six new contracts, totaling $1.49 million, awarded under the agency’s 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 wind turbine designs.
The goals of the CIP are to make wind energy from turbines cost-competitive with other distributed generation technologies and to increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national safety and performance standards.
CIP Round 5 contracts were awarded to the following U.S. distributed wind manufacturers and component suppliers:
- Bergey Windpower Company of Norman, Okla., will seek to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from its small wind turbine 11% by developing a standardized, 30-meter, self-supporting lattice tower with a foundation that does not require concrete. Bergey will also improve its cable and electronics design to reduce installation costs of the Bergey Excel 15 wind turbine system.
- Intergrid of Temple, N.H., will seek to reduce LCOE 11% by integrating and certifying the electrical and control components required for a complete wind turbine installation into a “one-box” approach while adding an energy storage option for wind turbines with a power rating up to 20 kW.
- Northern Power Systems of Barre, Vt., will seek to reduce LCOE 14% by developing a larger rotor design, expanding from 24 to 32 meters in diameter, for the NPS 100 wind turbine. R&D efforts will include detailed tradeoff studies and analysis evaluating impacts on whole rotor, control system and drivetrain due to the increase in rotor size.
- SonSight Wind of Grayson, Ga., will conduct prototype testing of its low wind speed, 3 kW wind turbine design. Efforts will focus on improving power performance and safety and function testing, as well as control system testing for optimization of its advanced furling design, which regulates how the turbine operates in high winds.
- Star Wind Turbines LLC of East Dorset, Vt., will test its five-bladed, 10 kW wind turbine design to national performance and safety standards with a goal of achieving product certification and verifying their levelized cost projections.
- Xzeres Wind Corp of Portland, Ore., will seek to reduce LCOE by over 25% by developing a microgrid-compatible turbine controller engineered for increased performance and integration with emerging distributed energy resource technologies. The components of the controller system will be consolidated into a single enclosure for ease of installation and reduced labor costs.
NREL recently announced its intention to conduct Round 6 of the CIP request for proposals. It will host a CIP-focused workshop at the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado on Wednesday, Dec. 6.