Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $28.1 million in funding aimed at advancing wind energy nationwide across the land-based, offshore, and distributed wind sectors. This includes up to $22 million for offshore wind energy research.

While utility-scale wind energy in the U.S. has grown to 90 gigawatts, significant opportunities for cost reductions remain, especially in the areas of offshore wind, distributed wind, and tall wind.

“Wind power is an important part of America’s energy strategy,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, said in a statement. “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 this funding include:

  • 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): Projects will conduct testing in support of innovative offshore wind research and development utilizing existing national-level testing facilities. A subtopic is included for projects that upgrade the capabilities of existing facilities to enable them to perform specific research activities.
  • Project Development for Offshore Wind Technology Demonstrations (up to $10 million): This area of interest will fund supplemental project development activities to enable 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 29 and full applications are due June 17. For more information and application requirements, go to the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

To learn more about DOE’s wind energy research, go to the Wind Energy Technologies Office website.