Bergey WindPower lands DOE grant

Bergey WindPower of Norman is one of 13 companies and groups to share in $28 million dollars in wind energy grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Bergey will develop a standardized distributed wind/battery/generator micro-grid system that rural utilities can provide to rural homes and businesses to deliver resilience, energy savings and reliable power, according to the announcement by the DOE.

A total of 13 projects will be funded by the $28 million to advance wind energy nationwide. The DOE said while utility-scale, land-based wind energy has grown to 96 gigawatts in the US, opportunities remain for cost reductions, especially in the areas of offshore wind, distributed wind and tall wind.

Bergey’s project was one of Four Wind Innovations for Rural Economic Development (WIRED) projects that will receive a total of $6 million in federal funding. The funds will support rural electric utilities by developing technology to integrate wind with other distributed energy resources, and by simplifying distributed wind energy project development through standardized solutions and technical assistance.

The three other WIRED projects included:

  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California will develop novel modeling, planning, and operation methods for deploying and operating wind energy and battery storage technologies that allow increased wind energy while maintaining rural grid reliability.
  • Iowa State University of Ames, Iowa will design optimization models and control algorithms that help rural utilities leverage distributed wind in coordination with other distributed energy resources such as battery storage and solar PV.
  • The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association of Arlington, Virginia will provide technical assistance and develop standardized wind engineering solutions, metrics, case studies, best practices, and finance models to help rural cooperatives cost effectively adopt distributed wind.

The funding selections were announced by DOE’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Daniel R Simmons, at the American Wind Energy Association Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. “These projects will be instrumental in driving down technology costs and increasing consumer options for wind across the United States as part of our comprehensive energy portfolio,” said Simmons.

The selected projects span the technology development spectrum—including testing, demonstration, integration, and technical assistance—and cover all three wind energy sectors: distributed, offshore, and land-based utility-scale wind.

Six projects will receive a total of $7 million to conduct testing in support of innovative offshore wind research and development utilizing existing national-level testing facilities.

Two offshore wind technology demonstration projects will receive up to a total of $10 million to conduct additional project development activities that enable demonstration of innovative technologies or methodologies to reduce offshore wind energy risk and cost.

  • The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio will use state-of-the-art sensing technologies to characterize the activity of birds near their project site in Lake Erie.
  • The University of Maine at Orono will develop an alternative floating substructure design for a 10–12 MW wind turbine in place of the currently planned two 6-MW turbine floating offshore wind demonstration project planned for deployment off Monhegan Island, Maine.

One project will receive up to $5 million to validate manufacturing innovations and demonstrate cost-effective tall tower technology that can overcome the transportation constraints currently hindering tall tower installations in the United States. 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.

  • Keystone Tower Systems of Westminster, Colorado will demonstrate on-site spiral welding of a 160-meter wind turbine tower, as well as installation of up-tower components with a tower-mounted self-hoisting crane.