The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $1.8 million in funds for the development of larger wind turbine blades that will help capture more power from wind resources and increase wind turbine efficiency.
According to the DOE, the funding will support the research and development of technological innovations to improve the manufacturing, transportation and assembly of wind turbine blades longer than 60 meters. Larger blades that can be installed on wind turbines with taller hub heights will help facilitate the deployment of the next generation of multi-megawatt wind turbines.
The DOE notes that data compiled last year by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that these taller turbines accompanied by longer blades have the potential to harness wind power resources from more than 1 million additional square miles of the U.S.
The funding opportunity will help mitigate the transportation and logistical constraints associated with larger turbine blades, helping spur wind energy development in areas of the country where wind resources can be accessed at greater heights, especially in the Southeast.
The DOE says its latest blade effort supports the DOE's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which aims to increase American competitiveness in the production of clean energy products and manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity.