Enabling wind as a distributed
Enabling wind as a distributed
Wind technology of any size can be a distributed energy resource. Wind as a distributed energy resource is commonly referred to as distributed wind. Distributed wind systems are often used to generate electricity for remote communities or offset a portion of energy costs for grid-connected customers. As a result, distributed wind systems can be part of an isolated grid or a grid-connected micro-grid. They can also be connected at the distribution voltage level of a grid system as either behind-the-meter for self-consumption or on the distribution grid to serve local loads.
PNNL’s distributed wind research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), supports WETO’s goals of enabling wind technologies as distributed energy resources to contribute maximum economic and system benefit to energy systems now and in the future.
A distributed wind photo gallery is available here.
PNNL has produced the Distributed Wind Market Report since 2012. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the distributed wind market and can help guide future investments and decisions by industry, utilities, federal and state agencies, and other interested parties. The report and associated products provide key information to help stakeholders understand and access market opportunities and inform distributed wind industry research and development needs.
The PNNL research team continually collects project, cost, incentive, and supply chain data from turbine manufacturers, operations and maintenance providers, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders. These data are critical for identifying trends, opportunities for growth, and prioritizing investments for both WETO and industry stakeholders. Making this information available allows interested parties to better understand distributed wind market trends and characteristics.
For PNNL’s distributed wind project dataset, please visit here.
Performance and wind resource assessment
It can be challenging to accurately predict the performance and annual energy production of distributed wind projects, namely small wind projects, prior to their installation. The Tools Assessing Performance (TAP) project aims to improve distributed wind resource characterization, thereby reducing the uncertainty of project performance and financing costs, increasing consumer confidence, and lowering the levelized cost of distributed wind energy.
For more information about TAP, please download DOE's fact sheet.
Wind turbines in microgrids, distribution networks, and hybrid systems
For individuals, businesses, and communities building resilient infrastructure, wind energy can provide an affordable, accessible, and compatible distributed energy resource option that enhances distribution networks, microgrids, and hybrid systems. The Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (MIRACL) project is designed to make this potential a reality through collaborative research between U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories and industry.
For more information about MIRACL, please download DOE's fact sheet.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind Technology Collaboration Programme shares information and research activities to advance wind energy research, development, and deployment in member countries. PNNL is partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to lead IEA Wind Task 41—a task dedicated to advancing wind technology as a cost-effective and reliable distributed energy resource.
For more information about IEA Wind Task 41, please visit the task website.
Distributed wind outreach and education
PNNL is involved in a variety of strategic and technical stakeholder engagement activities including with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and educating federal agencies about distributed wind. More information about these activities is forthcoming.