DOE Offers Up $28 Million to Bring Wind Energy Costs Down

by | Mar 29, 2019

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DOE Offers Up $28 Million to Bring Wind Energy Costs Down

(Photo: Chief of staff for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alex Fitzsimmons, center, tours the National Wind Technology Center. Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL)

The DOE is offering up to $28.1 million for wind energy research across the land-based, offshore, and distributed wind sectors. According to the federal agency, significant opportunities remain for reducing the cost of wind energy.

As much as $6.1 million has been designated for projects that support rural electric utilities and communities with distributed wind integrated with other DER solutions as well as simplifying energy project development through standardization and technical assistance. Projects that utilize and upgrade national-level facilities for offshore wind R&D could see up to $7 million.

The DOE is also putting $10 million toward developing offshore wind technology demonstrations that reduce the risks and costs for planned plants set to be operational by 2025.

An additional $5 million will go to taller wind turbine tower projects that enable access to higher wind speeds. “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 US wind turbine towers over 140 meters,” according to the agency.

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry called wind power “an important part of America’s energy strategy.” At the same time, the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for 2020 yet again calls for funding cuts to federal renewable energy programs. Trump wants to slash the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)’s budget by 86%. Last year he asked for a 66% cut.

In December, the Natural Resources Defense Council asked Congress to investigate why the DOE still hadn’t distributed as much as $600 million in approved funding for renewable energy research and development.

The president’s 2020 budget also proposes to cut funding for wind energy technologies by 74%, the NRDC’s Jackie Wong and Arjun Krishnaswami noted recently.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.

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