You are here



19. WIND Technologies

Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $200,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,100,000

Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Phase I Applications: YES


EERE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) ( drives innovation through research, development, and testing of advanced wind energy technologies. WETO plans and executes a diversified portfolio of research and development to advance technologies for offshore, land-based, and distributed wind energy, as well as its integration with the electric grid. WETO also supports research to understand wind-related siting and environmental challenges. WETO’s R&D program pursues three overarching objectives: (a) reduce the cost of wind energy for all wind applications; (b) enable the integration of substantial amounts of wind energy reliably and resiliently into the dynamic and rapidly evolving national energy system, including integrated systems with other renewable energy and energy storage; and (c) create siting and environmental solutions to reduce environmental impacts and facilitate responsible wind energy development. WETO invests in both land-based and offshore wind power at the utility scale as well as systems on the distribution side and focuses on novel research not being undertaken by the U.S. wind industry due to perceived cost, risk, or focus on near-term investment returns.


Wind energy is an important part of the U.S. energy mix. In 2020, there are over 100 gigawatts (GW) of land-based, utility-scale wind installed across 41 states [7], supplying seven percent of U.S. electricity supply [4]. The U.S. has over 85,000 wind turbines in distributed wind applications across 50 states [2]. A nascent offshore wind industry is beginning to develop—driven by federal offshore wind lease auctions, complementary state policies, technology innovation, and falling wind turbine prices—but challenged by unique characteristics of U.S. waters. While utility-scale land-based wind technology is relatively mature, the phase out of the Production Tax Credit in 2020 highlights the importance of continued research and innovation to reduce costs further, so that wind energy can compete and add value to the grid on an unsubsidized basis. Additionally, many remaining sites where wind could be deployed are constrained by an array of environmental and siting concerns. Finally, wind energy’s growth has brought attention to the need for advanced technology and controls to support grid resilience and integration of wind with other energy technologies.


WETO aims to advance scientific knowledge and technological innovation to enable clean, low-cost wind energy options nationwide. With continued research and technology innovation to drive down wind energy costs and overcome grid integration, environmental and siting, and workforce development challenges, wind energy has the potential to serve as a key building block of an affordable, reliable, and secure energy future.

Applications may submit to any one of the subtopics listed but all applications must:

·         Propose a tightly structured program including technical milestones that demonstrate clear progress, are aggressive but achievable, and are quantitative and capture potential cost reductions anticipated as a result of the award supported by a clear, literature-based articulation of the baseline and quantitative success metrics, where feasible.

·         Include projections for price and/or performance improvements that are tied to a baseline (i.e. DOE Wind Vision [9] or Roadmap targets and/or state-of-the-art products or practices).

·         Explicitly and thoroughly differentiate the proposed innovation with respect to existing commercially available products or solutions expressing how the technical advancements will advance the state of the art.

·         Include a preliminary cost analysis and justify all performance claims with theoretical predictions and/or relevant experimental data.

·         Include a strong justification of the need for such technical advancements from the perspective of wind research and development, and energy siting and permitting. Where applicable, proposals should demonstrate interest from wind energy original equipment manufacturers or owner/operators regarding potential use of the technologies or where the end user is a regulatory body, interest and support of that body in the products of the research project should also be identified.


Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to describe how the award will foster participation by underrepresented group members including, but not limited to, women or socially or economically disadvantaged persons within the applicant’s technology development team, including recruiting, hiring, and training staff to help lead the SBIR/STTR research effort.


Grant applications are sought only in the following subtopics:


a.      Technical Solutions to Offshore and Land-Based Wind Siting and Environmental Challenges

This subtopic aims to support technical solutions to offshore and land-based wind siting challenges including impacts on wildlife, radar systems, wind farm neighbors, and other human activities [5, 6]. Technological improvements funded under this topic may be focused on advancements to software, instrumentation, or combined hardware/software systems.


If validation of technologies at a wind turbine or wind farm is a part of the scope of the Phase I effort, a willing host site must be identified in the letter of intent, and a letter of commitment must be provided in the full proposal. Additionally, if access to wind farm data is needed for successful Phase I completion, confirmation of access to that data should be noted in the letter of intent, and a letter of commitment must be provided in the full proposal.


Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

·         Technologies aimed at increasing efficacy and/or reducing the cost of environmental impact monitoring or impact minimization for land-based or offshore wind, with an emphasis on novel approaches or tools.

·         Technologies aimed at evaluating or reducing impacts of land-based or offshore wind energy development on wind farm neighbors. For offshore wind this includes tools aimed at evaluating or minimizing impacts on coastal communities, historic properties and settings, cultural landscapes, and co-users of ocean space.


Questions – Contact: Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, Jocelyn.Brown-Saracino@EE.Doe.Gov


b.      Distributed Wind Technology-Compatible Power Converters for Grid-Connected and Isolated Distributed Energy Systems

This subtopic solicits proposals to develop power converter technologies compatible with distributed wind and wind-hybrid distributed energy systems.


Distributed wind systems are those that use wind energy technology as a distributed energy resource (DER) to support local loads and/or operation of micro- and distribution grids. The lack of advanced power converter technologies that are designed for wind and wind-hybrid distributed energy systems has been identified as a technology gap. Wind-compatible power converters also provide an opportunity for industry collaboration, potential cost savings, and increased power performance with grid support capabilities [2]. Though the expanding market for solar power converters has resulted in technical advancements for solar PV, significant differences in the technical requirements between distributed wind and solar technologies make them suboptimal for use with distributed wind applications. In addition to advanced power converters for standalone distributed wind systems, advanced power converters for wind-hybrid – wind, solar, storage – distributed energy systems are also needed.


Applicants are asked to address the tradeoff between developing turbine controls with power conversion in one combined system compared to physically separating these functions. The latter may be achieved, for example, by pairing the power converter with a wind interface device that has turbine control functions, including command of inverter power output. In addition, applicants should consider the modularity and scalability of their proposed technology to serve a range of turbine sizes and market applications. The envisioned technology is an IEEE 1547-2018-compliant power converter designed for a range wind turbine sizes up to 500 kW in rated capacity, either in standalone applications or in hybrid systems with solar, storage, or other DERs. As part of the project, the applicant must demonstrate that the proposed technology will meet the IEEE 1547-2018 standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces [1].


Questions – Contact: Patrick Gilman,




c.       TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OPPORTUNITY: Wind Turbine Blade Design for Small Wakes

This is a Technology Transfer Opportunity to license and commercialize a wind turbine blade technology developed and patented by DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The small wake rotor design patent (US Patent 10,400,743) describes a wind turbine blade design that has a less stable wake than the typical maximum efficiency aerodynamic design. By slightly changing the axial induction, an important aerodynamic performance parameter of a wind turbine, the wind in the rotor wake recovers to the freestream airspeed more quickly.


Wind turbine blades that are designed to create wakes that dissipate more rapidly have the potential to reduce down-turbine turbulence and concomitant wake effects on other turbines. This can reduce capital costs for commercial wind development by allowing wind turbines to be spaced closer together and reducing the power production losses from the wake effects. This, in turn, could potentially reduce the land or sea footprint of a wind plant by as much as half, with additional spillover benefits from reducing balance-of-plant costs. A blade design recently patented by SNL creates a faster-mixing wake that can advance these goals. The new blade technology could be applied to new wind projects, and to repowering of older wind farms to reduce array losses and increase Annual Energy Production. The repower market is expected to be $25 billion through 2030 [3]. This topic area seeks proposals from entities interested in licensing this innovative technology and advancing its transfer to the commercial market.


Licensing Information:

Sandia National Laboratories

For business/partnership inquiries.

Debi Hudgens, PhD, MBA, CLP

Licensing Executive

Tel: 505-284-1596


Patent: USPTO 10,400,743,400,743.PN.&OS=PN/10,400,743&RS=PN

Sandia tracking number: 17139

This patent is available for either exclusive (“period of restraint”) or non-exclusive.


Questions – Contact: Ben Hallissy,



1.      “1547-2018 - IEEE Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces.” IEEE SA, February 2018,


2.      Orrell, A., Preziuso, D., Morris, S., and J. Homer. “2019 Distributed Wind Data Summary.” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. August 2020,


3.      Sullivan, K., “Wind program patent breathes new life into turbine siting.” Sandia National Lab, October 2019,


4.      U.S. DOE Energy Information Administration. “Electricity Data, Form EIA-861M.”


5.      U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Interior. “National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States.” United States, 2016,


6.      U.S. Department of Energy. “Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States.” United States. doi:10.2172/1220428, 2015,


7.      Wiser, R., M. Bolinger, et al. “Wind Energy Technology Data Update: 2020 Edition.” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. August 2020,


US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government