EnerNex Corp. has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a wind energy project to help facilitate 20% of energy from wind in 2030 in an effort to expand the nation’s renewable energy deployment.

EnerNex, working through the Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) Turbine Modeling and Interconnection Study User Group, will develop enhanced documentation, user support, and validations of computer models used to evaluate the impacts of wind energy on the bulk electric power system.

The goal of the two-phase project is to accelerate the appropriate use of generic wind turbine models for transmission network analysis. The first phase will focus on the existing generic models, as well as the substantial number of turbine-specific models that have been developed by vendors over the past several years. The second phase builds on the first and takes on the difficult task of locating and acquiring test data from the laboratory, field, or much more detailed simulation models to conduct a validation for each generic model application.

Bob Zavadil, vice president and co-founder of EnerNex, stated: "Most transmission planning engineers in the U.S. recognize that proper computer models for wind turbines and wind plants are a vital and urgent need. On the present course, it would take another five to ten years to get to where we hope to be through this project in just two years."

The core project team comprises companies and individuals who have been involved in the development of wind turbine and wind plant models for over a decade, including GE Energy, Siemens-PTI, and UWIG. Both Sandia National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will work with EnerNex on the effort, along with utility, ISO, turbine vendor, and regional reliability council representatives, and the IEEE Power and Energy Society. UWIG will organize and operate a Technical Review Committee with representation from UWIG, Sandia, NREL, and NERC to provide critical review and industry feedback to the project.

DOE announced that it would provide a total of $749,868 over two years to support this effort.