DOE will also invest over $100 million in Recovery Act funds for facility and infrastructure improvements at its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), including $68 million for the nation's most energy efficient office building, the Research Support Facility, as well as $13.5 million for the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility and $19.2 million for other infrastructure improvements, such as renewable energy systems to help power the laboratory. The Research Support Facility is currently under construction at NREL; see the NREL construction update.
Of the $93 million in wind energy funding, $10 million will go toward DOE's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), which is part of NREL, to enhance the testing of wind turbine drivetrains and to upgrade the electrical distribution system, allowing NREL to feed power from two new utility-scale wind turbines into the grid. Under previous agreements, the two new turbines will be installed at the NWTC for testing and evaluation.
DOE will also award $14 million to support the development of lightweight, advanced materials for wind turbine components and the development of process controls for the manufacture of wind turbine blades. DOE will also offer $69 million through two competitive solicitations: a $24 million solicitation for the development of up to three university and industry consortia, which will focus on critical wind energy challenges, and a $45 million solicitation to support the design and construction of a new drivetrain testing facility for large wind turbines. See the DOE press release, the NREL feature articles on the new funding and the two new wind turbines, and the notices on the DOE e-Center Web site of the upcoming Funding Opportunity Announcements for the university and industry consortia and the drivetrain testing facility.