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Utilizing Distributed Wind Turbines & PMUs for Balancing Services

Company Name: Group NIRE
Program Office: Wind
Location: Lubbock, TX
Award Amount: $200,000
Project Term: 12 months
Project Status: Active
Participating Lab(s): Sandia National Laboratories


Ensuring the ability both to deploy and commercialize new and emerging technologies, Group NIRE controls data acquisition points with two connections into the Southwest Power Pool in the Eastern Interconnection and routinely conducts coordinated testing while connected to the grid. Providing essential balancing services to the grid without reducing energy production has been the greatest barrier to deploying new technologies. Leveraging the capabilities of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Group NIRE and SNL will demonstrate essential balancing services using real world conditions.

Group NIRE controls 2000 acres of land at the Reese Center for Energy Technology in Lubbock, Texas, subletting land for wind turbines to GE, Siemens, Vestas, Gamesa, and Sandia National Laboratories. Group NIRE also leases several buildings for energy storage for multiple grid services. Challenges include obtaining support to use the state-of-the-art wind turbine systems, located adjacent to Group NIRE;  incorporating safety measures into this new technology; and ensuring protection to the grid and the wind turbine itself.

Support from the DOE Small Business Voucher will lead to a more robust grid with greater capacity for Group NIRE to offer ancillary services, thereby improving grid stability and performance. This cost effective method creates a significant benefit for furthering wind energy on the grid, and serves as a basis for future expansion to multiple wind sites to provide ancillary services.


Group NIRE ensures that mid-TRL technologies are demonstrated and capable of commercialization. This makes Group NIRE an industry leader in the aggregation, demonstration, and deployment of grid technologies.  This technology enables the combined benefits to the grid from modulation of wind energy and network-based remote control capabilities.


SBV assistance will lead to a greater capacity to offer subsidiary services, eventually improving grid stability and performance. Several mission areas supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)—wind energy technologies, solar energy technologies, and the grid integration of renewables—would also benefit from the technology potentially with its zero cost regulation and grid stability services that have yet to be demonstrated on any grid-scale wind farm in the United States. Furthermore, various cyber security scenarios can also be tested to better understand their vulnerabilities and liabilities, and to improve mitigation strategies.

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