US announces $2 million for developing taller wind turbines, to increase performance and cut costs
- 31 January 2014
NEW YORK: The US government has announced the availability of a US$2 million research investment into developing taller wind turbines, which are known to increase performance and lower the cost of wind power.
Currently utility-scale wind turbines average 90 meters, but new research funded by the US Department of Energy (DoE) could help engineer systems to be as tall as 120 meters, which the DoE says would strengthen manufacturing competitiveness, slash costs and expand the geographic range of wind power in the US.
Increasing turbine heights brings these cost and efficiency benefits because taller hubs can harness the stronger and more consistent wind that exists higher up.
Turbines of up to 140 meters can even unlock an extra 1,800 gigawatts in wind energy potential across an area around the size of Texas, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) report, Analysis of Transportation and Logistics Challenges Affecting the Deployment of Larger Wind Turbines.
However, larger turbines can bring transportation and logistics challenges, so the DoE asks applicants for the funding to carefully consider such challenges that could arise from building taller turbines.
The effort supports the DoE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which aims to make America’s manufacturing sector more efficient and maintain US-made clean technologies.
Closing date for applications is February 14, 2014. More information on applying for this DoE funding opportunity.