University of Wyoming awarded $4.25M for wind energy research


Prong Horn Antelope graze near a wind energy operation outside of Casper, Wyoming. (Duke Energy/Flickr)
Prong Horn Antelope graze near a wind energy operation outside of Casper, Wyoming. (Duke Energy/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | October 2, 2014

The Department of Energy has awarded a $4.25 million grant to researchers at the University of Wyoming to study wind energy in the Cowboy State.

The researchers will examine wind farm modeling, transmission grid monitoring, and the economics derived from wind power. This project brings together researchers from six different departments: (1) mechanical engineering, (2) electrical and computer engineering, (3) atmospheric science, (4) economics and finance, (5) statistics, and (6) agriculture and applied economics. Researchers from Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Cornell University, and Western Ontario University will also assist with this project. Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are also expected to contribute.

The research will focus on three specific areas: development of and optimization of wind plant performance, development of a measurement-based transmission grid modeling capability, and development of fully integrated economic models for more diverse and variable energy generation and transmission scenarios.

The three-year grant – which began in August – will be eligable for renewal when it expires in 2017. The University of Wyoming provided an additional $1 million for the research.

Robert Ettema – a professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming – is also a faculty member for the University of Iowa’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

The Department of Energy also recently awarded researchers at Iowa State University a $1 million grant to study the efficiency of taller wind turbines.

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