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42 U.S. Code § 16237 - Wind energy research and development

(a) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Critical material

The term “critical material” has the meaning given the term in section 1606 of title 30.

(2) Economically distressed area

The term “economically distressed area” means an area described in section 3161(a) of this title.

(3) Eligible entityThe term “eligible entity” means—
a Federal research agency;
a State research agency;
a research agency associated with a territory or freely associated state;
a nonprofit research organization;
an industrial entity;
any other entity, as determined by the Secretary; and
a consortium of 2 or more entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (L).
(4) Indian Tribe

The term “Indian Tribe” has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.

(5) Institution of higher educationThe term “institution of higher education” means—
a postsecondary vocational institution (as defined in section 1002(c) of title 20).
(6) Minority serving institution

The term “minority-serving institution” has the meaning given the term “eligible institution” in section 1067q(a) of title 20.

(7) National Laboratory

The term “National Laboratory” has the meaning given such term in section 15801(3) of this title.

(8) Native Hawaiian community-based organization

The term “Native Hawaiian community-based organization” has the meaning given the term in section 7517 of title 20.

(9) Program

The term “program” means the program established under subsection (b)(1).

(10) Secretary

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Energy.

(11) Territory or freely associated state

The term “territory or freely associated state” has the meaning given the term “insular area” in section 3103 of title 7.

(12) Tribal energy development organization
(13) Tribal organization

The term “Tribal organization” has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.

(b) Wind energy technology program
(1) Establishment
(A) In general

The Secretary shall establish a program to conduct research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of wind energy technologies in accordance with this subsection.

(B) PurposesThe purposes of the program are the following:
To improve the energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, reliability, resilience, security, siting, integration, manufacturability, installation, decommissioning, and recyclability of wind energy technologies.
To optimize the performance and operation of wind energy components, turbines, and systems, including through the development of new materials, hardware, and software.
(iii) To optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy technologies to the broadest practical range of geographic, atmospheric, offshore, and other site conditions, including—
at varying hub heights; and
through the use of computer modeling.
To support the integration of wind energy technologies with the electric grid and other energy technologies and systems.
(v) To reduce the cost, risk, and other potential negative impacts across the lifespan of wind energy technologies, including—
manufacturing, siting, permitting, installation, operations, maintenance, decommissioning, and recycling; and
through the development of solutions to transportation barriers to wind components.
To reduce and mitigate potential negative impacts of wind energy technologies on human communities, the environment, or commerce.
To address barriers to the commercialization and export of wind energy technologies.
To support the domestic wind industry, workforce, and supply chain.
(C) Targets

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall establish targets for the program relating to near-term (up to 2 years), mid-term (up to 7 years), and long-term (up to 15 years) challenges to the advancement of wind energy technologies, including onshore, offshore, distributed, and off-grid technologies.

(2) Activities
(A) Types of activitiesIn carrying out the program, the Secretary shall carry out research, development, demonstration, and commercialization activities, including—
awarding grants and awards, on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis;
performing precompetitive research and development;
establishing or maintaining demonstration facilities and projects, including through stewardship of existing facilities such as the National Wind Test Center;
providing technical assistance;
entering into contracts and cooperative agreements;
providing small business vouchers;
establishing prize competitions;
conducting education and outreach activities;
conducting professional development activities; and
conducting analyses, studies, and reports.
(B) Subject areasThe Secretary shall carry out research, development, demonstration, and commercialization activities in the following subject areas:
Wind power plant siting, performance, operations, and security.
New materials and designs relating to all hardware, software, and components of wind energy technologies, including technologies and strategies that reduce the use of energy, water, critical materials, and other commodities that are determined to be vulnerable to disruption.
Advanced wind energy manufacturing and installation technologies and practices, including materials, processes, such as onsite or near site manufacturing, and design.
(iv) Offshore wind-specific projects and plants, including—
fixed and floating substructure systems, materials, and components;
(II) the operation of offshore facilities, such as—
an offshore research facility to conduct research for oceanic, biological, geological, and atmospheric resource characterization relevant to offshore wind energy development in coordination with the ocean and atmospheric science communities; and
an offshore support structure testing facility to conduct development, demonstration, and commercialization of large-scale and full-scale offshore wind energy support structure components and systems;
the monitoring and analysis of site and environmental considerations unique to offshore sites, including freshwater environments.
(v) Integration of wind energy technologies with—
the electric grid, including transmission, distribution, microgrids, and distributed energy systems; and
(II) other energy technologies, including—
other generation sources;
demand response technologies; and
energy storage technologies.
Methods to improve the lifetime, maintenance, decommissioning, recycling, reuse, and sustainability of wind energy components and systems, including technologies and strategies to reduce the use of energy, water, critical materials, and other valuable or harmful inputs.
Wind power forecasting and atmospheric measurement systems, including for turbines and plant systems of varying height.
(viii) Integrated wind energy systems, grid-connected and off-grid, that incorporate diverse—
generation sources;
loads; and
storage technologies.
(ix) Reducing market barriers, including non-hardware and information-based barriers, to the adoption of wind energy technologies, such as impacts on, or challenges relating to—
distributed wind technologies, including the development of best practices, models, and voluntary streamlined processes for local siting and permitting of distributed wind energy systems to reduce costs;
military operations;
local communities, with special consideration given to economically distressed areas, previously disturbed lands such as landfills and former mines, and other areas disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution;
wildlife and wildlife habitats; and
any other appropriate matter, as determined by the Secretary.
Technologies or strategies to avoid, minimize, and offset the potential impacts of wind energy facilities on bird species, bat species, marine wildlife, and other sensitive species and habitats.
Advanced physics-based and data analysis computational tools, in coordination with the high-performance computing programs of the Department, to more efficiently design, site, permit, manufacture, install, operate, decommission, and recycle wind energy systems.
Technologies for distributed wind, including micro, small, and medium turbines and the components of those turbines and their microgrid applications.
Transformational technologies for harnessing wind energy.
Other research areas that advance the purposes of the program, as determined by the Secretary.
(C) PrioritizationIn carrying out activities under the program, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, give special consideration to—
(i) projects that—
are located in a geographically diverse range of eligible entities;
(II) support the development or demonstration of projects—
in economically distressed areas and areas disproportionately impacted by pollution; and
that provide the greatest potential to reduce energy costs, as well as promote accessibility and community implementation of demonstrated technologies;
can be replicated in a variety of regions and climates;
(IV) include business commercialization plans that have the potential for—
domestic manufacturing and production of wind energy technologies; or
exports of wind energy technologies; and
with regards to professional development, activities that expand the number of individuals from underrepresented groups pursuing and attaining skills relevant to wind energy.
(D) Coordination

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall coordinate activities under the program with other relevant programs and capabilities of the Department and other Federal research programs.

(E) Use of funds

To the extent that funding is not otherwise available through other Federal programs or power purchase agreements, funding awarded for demonstration projects may be used for additional nontechnology costs, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary, such as engineering or feasibility studies.

(F) Solicitation

Not less than once every two years, the Secretary shall conduct a national solicitation for applications for demonstration projects under this section.

(G) Report
(i) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report on the potential for, and technical viability of, airborne wind energy systems to provide a significant source of energy in the United States.

(ii) Contents

The report under paragraph (1) shall include a summary of research, development, demonstration, and commercialization needs, including an estimate of Federal funding requirements, to further examine and validate the technical and economic viability of airborne wind energy concepts over the 10-year period beginning on December 27, 2020.

(3) Wind technician training grant program

The Secretary may award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to purchase large pieces of wind component equipment, such as nacelles, towers, and blades, for use in training wind technician students in onshore or offshore wind applications.

(4) Wind energy technology recycling research, development, and demonstration program
(A) In generalIn addition to the program activities described in paragraph (2), in carrying out the program, the Secretary shall award financial assistance to eligible entities for research, development, and demonstration, and commercialization projects to create innovative and practical approaches to increase the reuse and recycling of wind energy technologies, including—
by increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the recovery of raw materials from wind energy technology components and systems, including enabling technologies such as inverters;
by minimizing potential environmental impacts from the recovery and disposal processes;
by advancing technologies and processes for the disassembly and recycling of wind energy devices;
by developing alternative materials, designs, manufacturing processes, and other aspects of wind energy technologies and the disassembly and resource recovery process that enable efficient, cost effective, and environmentally responsible disassembly of, and resource recovery from, wind energy technologies; and
strategies to increase consumer acceptance of, and participation in, the recycling of wind energy technologies.
(B) Dissemination of resultsThe Secretary shall make available to the public and the relevant committees of Congress the results of the projects carried out through financial assistance awarded under subparagraph (A), including—
development of best practices or training materials for use in the wind energy technology manufacturing, design, installation, decommissioning, or recycling industries;
dissemination at industry conferences;
coordination with information dissemination programs relating to recycling of electronic devices in general;
demonstration projects; and
educational materials.
(C) Priority

In carrying out the activities authorized under this subsection, the Secretary shall give special consideration to projects that recover critical materials.

(D) Sensitive information

In carrying out the activities authorized under this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure proper security controls are in place to protect proprietary or sensitive information, as appropriate.

(5) Wind energy technology materials physical property database
(A) In general

Not later than September 1, 2022, the Secretary shall establish a comprehensive physical property database of materials for use in wind energy technologies, which shall identify the type, quantity, country of origin, source, significant uses, projected availability, and physical properties of materials used in wind energy technologies.

(B) CoordinationIn establishing the database described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall coordinate and, to the extent practicable, avoid duplication with—
other Department activities, including those carried out by the Office of Science;
the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology;
the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
the Secretary of the Interior; and
relevant industry stakeholders, as determined by the Secretary.
(6) Wind energy program strategic vision
(A) In general

Not later than September 1, 2022, and every 6 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the strategic vision, progress, goals, and targets of the program, including assessments of wind energy markets and manufacturing.

(B) PreparationThe Secretary shall coordinate the preparation of the report under subparagraph (A) with—
existing peer review processes;
studies conducted by the National Laboratories; and
the multiyear program planning required under section 16358 of this title.
(7) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program $125,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

Editorial Notes

Section was enacted as part of the Energy Act of 2020, and not as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which comprises this chapter.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title IX, § 9006(b), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2600, provided that:

“The provisions of section 602 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3212) shall apply with respect to construction, alteration, or repair work of demonstration projects funded by grants or contracts authorized under sections 3001 [enacting part C of subchapter V of chapter 152 of this title], 3003 [enacting this section], 3004 [enacting section 16238 of this title], 5001 [enacting section 16298d of this title], and 8007 [enacting section 17389 of this title] and the amendments made by such sections.”