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SMART Wind Consortium: Developing a Consensus-Based Sustainable Manufacturing, Advanced Research and Technology Roadmap for Distributed Wind

Goal: Form a consortium of distributed wind energy equipment manufacturers, suppliers, customers, and university researchers and develop a roadmap that identifies common manufacturing gaps, prioritizes actions to close these gaps, and fosters rapid transfer of solutions.

Lead: Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA)
P.O. Box 1861
Flagstaff, AZ 86002

Award Number: 70NANB14H047

Federal Funding: $488,634

Project Duration: 24 months

DWEA will launch the Strategies for Manufacturers Advancing Research and Technology (SMART) Wind Consortium. This new consortium has drawn interest from 78 organizations spanning the distributed wind industry's entire value chain—manufacturers and developers of technology, researchers who generate knowledge that can be translated into new technologies, and installers and end users. Members will undertake collaborative development of the SMART Wind Roadmap, focusing on four key aspects fundamental to manufacturing performance—mechanical systems, composites, electrical systems, and support structures.

Unlike centralized wind farms, which feed power to utility transmission lines, distributed wind systems provide power to nearby homes, farms, industrial facilities, or other end users. These users may be located "off the grid" or be tied into the grid. Since most of the world does not have centralized power, the potential global market for distributed wind energy systems is large, which DWEA forecasts to grow to $2 trillion by 2030. U.S. manufacturers of these systems—assemblies of power electronics, composite blades and towers, shafts, bearings, and an array of other electrical, mechanical, and structural components—are world leaders in what is still a small global market. However, foreign manufacturers have entered the market, many with systems that mimic the design of U.S. technology. To maintain their edge in a growing global market, U.S. manufacturers must accelerate research and development efforts aimed at improving production processes and driving down component costs.

For project information: Lauren Glickman, (504) 258-7955, lglickman@distributedwind.org

Funded Participants:

  • Mary Childress CPA, Consultant (Washington, D.C.)
  • eFormative Options (Vashon, Wash.)
  • WindyGlick Communications (Washington, D.C.)
  • Wind Advisors Team (Broomfield, CO)

AMTech Project Manager: Thomas Lettieri, (301) 975-3496, thomas.lettieri@nist.gov