DOE Announces New Funding Opportunity for Small Wind Projects

DOE recently announced a new funding opportunity, through their “20% Wind by 2030” project. This solicitation has a due date of March 3rd.

[For complete details, click here. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to a PDF file. In it, you will find all the information about the proposal.]

There are 3 activities in this funding opportunity specifically available for small wind: Topic Areas 2B, 2C, and 6. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will be participating in the testing in Topic Area 6, and would be interested in potentially teaming on the tasks in Topic Areas 2B and 2C. If you are interested in this, please send Trudy Forsyth ( a one page description of what role you would like NREL to play, a description of what you would like to do , and timeline and budget estimates. She will collect these requests and determine what NREL can do to help the industry in co-partnering on projects.

Descriptions of the relevant topic areas follow.

Topic Area 2B: Distributed Wind Technology (DWT) Best Practices:

Applicants receiving awards will prepare case studies of local, state and federal policies that specifically affect the cost of energy (COE) of DWT and small wind. This will include analysis of portfolio standards, incentives, net metering rules, renewable energy credits, carbon credits, zoning, and other policies. The result will be a guide of what works for DWT and sources for additional information.

DOE anticipates making one award of $100,000 in topic area 2B.

Topic Area 2C: Distributed Wind Technology (DWT) Site Analysis Tool:

A site analysis tool is needed so consumers can accurately predict the performance of a Distributed Wind System. The objectives of this tool are to:

  • Provide a web-based publicly available software tool that would be user friendly, easily updated, and secure for individuals to use for site selection and turbine selection
  • Develop links to wind resource maps for distributed wind assessments that are appropriate for alternate hub heights
  • Estimate monthly and annual electrical power generation using manufacturer’s certified performance data that would integrate the power curves with the location’s specific wind resource
  • Allow for comparison of power production between alternate turbines and tower heights
  • Allow the user to input appropriate data to describe site conditions (i.e. degree of flagging, terrain, height of adjacent trees or obstructions, etc.) and allow for comparison of power production between alternate turbines and tower heights.
  • Provide estimated noise levels at adjacent occupied structures
  • Provide a visual approximation of the selected turbine in the geographic and physical setting described by the user
  • Accept user input for system costs and develop links to incentive data that would provide estimated project economic analysis
  • List certified installer contact information for the user to contact
  • Provide the consumer with a set of estimated conditions that could be used at zoning hearings to facilitate acceptance and approval

DOE anticipates making one award for $250,000 – $500,000 in topic area 2C.

Topic Area 6: Distributed Wind Technology:

The primary objective of this Topic Area is to independently test commercially available small wind turbines. To be considered for this FOA Topic Area, blades must have a swept area of less than or equal to 200 square meters and a turbine capacity rating less than or equal to 65kW.

This topic area involves establishing partnerships with small wind turbine manufacturers for independent testing of their turbines. Turbines will be tested at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) near Boulder, CO for noise, energy output, and other factors and subsequent certification under International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. The test facilities at the NWTC have been accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The test results can be used by the participating manufacturers to have their turbines certified by the Small Wind Certification Corporation, a nonprofit organization supported by DOE, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and State Energy Offices. This Topic Area targets commercially available turbines that have a high probability of success in the U.S. market over the next several years.

DOE anticipates making 1-5 awards in this topic area of up to $150,000 each.

Source: National Renewable Energy Lab


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