The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated USD 6.2 million for nine projects expected to reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of offshore and onshore wind energy.
The early-stage research projects, funded by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office, are expected to total USD 9.5 million with cost-share by the project partners.
According to DOE, the projects will develop technology solutions to environmental siting and operational challenges to reduce project permitting time and costs, increase the certainty of project development outcomes and provide more deployment options at reduced costs.
Three projects by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), American Wind Wildlife Institute of Washington and Stantec Consulting Services of Topsham will receive USD 2.3 million to further the advancement of smart curtailment strategies to minimize energy loss from curtailment and wind farm environmental impacts to bats.
USD 1.4 million will be awarded to National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, General Electric Renewable Energy of Greenville and the Iowa State University of Ame for projects dedicated to advancing the commercial readiness of bat deterrent technologies to minimize the need for curtailment.
The remaining USD 2.5 million will be allocated to SMRU Consulting of Friday Harbor, Oregon State University of Corvallis and Western EcoSystems Technology of Cheyenne to develop and validate pre- and post-construction monitoring and mitigation solutions for the offshore wind environment to ease regulatory barriers to deployment.
DOE believes the research projects are key to the development of wind energy as part of its "all-of-the-above" energy strategy.