H.R. 2782 (112th): Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Aug 01, 2011 (Introduced).

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I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2782

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 1, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

A BILL

To provide for a program of wind energy research, development, and demonstration, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2011.

2.

Wind energy research and development program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Energy shall carry out a program of research and development to—

(1)

improve the energy efficiency, reliability, and capacity of wind turbines;

(2)

optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy systems to the broadest practical range of atmospheric conditions; and

(3)

reduce the cost of construction, generation, and maintenance of wind energy systems.

(b)

Program

The program under this section shall focus on research and development of—

(1)

new materials and designs to make larger, lighter, less expensive, and more reliable and longer lifecycle rotor blades;

(2)

technologies to improve gearbox performance, reliability, and lifecycle;

(3)

automation, materials, and assembly of large-scale components to reduce manufacturing costs;

(4)

low-cost transportable towers greater than 100 meters in height to capitalize on improved wind conditions at higher elevations;

(5)

wind technology for offshore applications, including improvement of analysis, testing, verification, and certification to reduce up front time and cost;

(6)

advanced computational modeling tools to improve—

(A)

the reliability of aeroelastic simulations of wind energy systems;

(B)

understanding of the interaction between each wind turbine component;

(C)

understanding the loads and lifecycle of each wind turbine component;

(D)

siting of wind energy systems to maximize efficiency and minimize variable generation;

(E)

integration of wind energy systems into the existing electric grid to ensure reliability; and

(F)

understanding of the wake effect between upwind and downwind turbine operations;

(7)

advanced control systems and blade sensors to improve performance and reliability under a wide variety of wind conditions;

(8)

advanced generators, including—

(A)

automated system and drive train sensors to predict and manage maintenance process;

(B)

medium-speed and low-speed generators;

(C)

direct-drive technology; and

(D)

the use of advanced magnets in generator rotors;

(9)

methods to assess and mitigate the effects of wind energy systems on radar and electromagnetic fields;

(10)

technical processes to enable—

(A)

scalability of transmission from remotely located renewable resource rich areas; and

(B)

optimization of advanced infrastructure design, including high voltage transmission; and

(11)

other research areas as determined by the Secretary.

3.

Wind energy demonstration program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Energy shall conduct a wind energy demonstration program. In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall ensure that—

(1)

the program is of sufficient size and geographic diversity to measure wind energy system performance under the full productive range of wind conditions in the United States;

(2)

demonstration projects carried out under this program are—

(A)

conducted in collaboration with industry and, as appropriate, with academic institutions; and

(B)

located in various geographic areas representing various wind class regimes; and

(3)

data collected from demonstration projects carried out under this program is useful for carrying out section 2(b).

(b)

Cost-Sharing

The Secretary shall carry out the program under this section in compliance with section 988(a) through (d) and section 989 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16352(a) through (d) and 16353).

4.

Equal opportunity

In carrying out this Act, the Secretary of Energy shall—

(1)

coordinate with the Office of Minority Economic Impact and with the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization; and

(2)

provide special consideration to applications submitted by institutions, businesses, or entities containing majority representation by individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

5.

Competitive awards

Awards under section 2 and section 3 shall be made on a competitive basis with an emphasis on technical merit.

6.

Coordination and nonduplication

To the maximum extent practicable the Secretary of Energy shall coordinate activities under this Act with other programs of the Department of Energy and other Federal research programs.

7.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy to carry out this Act $200,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2016.