Clean Energy | Video

Engineering the Next Wave of Wind Energy Technology

Engineers at NREL are tackling the challenges that come with reliably integrating wind energy into the grid.

Footage provided by NREL
[TEXT ON SCREEN] Wind energy technology continues to advance. Turbines are getting bigger and more productive. Now engineers face the next step: Reliably integrating it into the grid. Challenges: Size and material limitations, energy storage limitations, curtailment. Engineers are working on solutions. Examples: Using battery storage and integrating it with distributed generation, exploring new manufacturing methods and materials for turbine components, on-site turbine production to bypass transportation challenges. At NREL's Flatirons Campus, all turbines collect data. Impacts of weather. Wake turbulence. The lifespans of future components and blades. The focus: Advancing clean energy tech and materials for widespread use. Make it: Less expensive, more reliable, more resilient, and more compatible with other generation sources.

Wind energy technology continues to advance, as turbines are getting bigger and more productive. Now, engineers face the next step: reliably integrating this energy into the grid. Challenges include size and material limitations, as well as energy storage limitations, curtailment and more. Engineers are working on solutions. One example is using battery storage and integrating it with distributed generation. New manufacturing methods and materials for turbine components are also being explored. On-site turbine production would be useful to bypass transportation challenges.

At NREL’s Flatirons Campus, all turbines collect data, such as on the impacts of weather, wake turbulence, and the lifespans of future components and blades. The ultimate goal is advancing clean energy technology and materials for widespread use—making it less expensive, more reliable, more resilient, and more compatible with other generation sources.