Sustainable Manufacturing, Advanced Research and Technology (SMART)
Wind Consortium

Project Intro | Project Overview | Meet the Team | Events |

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in this project?

We’re targeting U.S. OEMs and Academics to partner in the SMART Wind Consortium but are open to considering participation of non-U.S. headquartered OEMs that are both DWEA members and have substantial U.S. domestic content (at least 50% of total installed costs with a goal of increasing above 60% through the project). Additional requirements apply to Steering Group members.

What are the initial project strategies?

  • Identify common distributed wind manufacturing gaps and barriers, and potential technology and manufacturing improvements.
  • Prioritize solutions to those gaps for near-term, mid-term in 3-5 years, and for longer term time frames.
  • Identify new technologies and manufacturing processes that could be used for distributed wind turbines.
  • Facilitate a rapid transfer of innovation into American-manufactured wind turbines.
  • Reduce lifecycle costs, maintain high product quality and value.
  • Secure U.S. distributed wind manufacturing global competitiveness and leadership.


What is the purpose of the meetings?

  • Bring together U.S. distributed wind turbine and component manufacturers with Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) experts to identify new manufacturing processes that streamline distributed wind turbine production and reduce costs of goods sold.
  • Allow stakeholders an opportunity to begin business dialogue for future partnerships that are specific for wind turbines.
  • Leverage industry-academic dialogue to develop strategies to aid distributed wind industry growth and advance innovative manufacturing techniques.
  • Share ideas and forge ahead as global leaders in the growing market of distributed wind.

Who’s leading the project?

This project is being led by the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), a trade association for the U.S. distributed wind industry. DWEA’s Executive Director, Jennifer Jenkins, provides organizational leadership; DWEA’s Britton Rife provides communications support; Heather Rhoads-Weaver of eFormative Options is the project manager; Trudy Forsyth of Wind Advisors Team provides technical leadership; and Brent Summerville of Summerville Wind & Sun provides technical co-leadership.

Who attends the meetings?

Consortium Subgroup participants (Mechanical Systems, Composites, Electrical Systems, and Support Structures) met initially face-to-face, followed by virtual meetings. Consortium meeting participants have included distributed wind turbine manufacturers, representatives from the DW supply chain, academic researchers, NIST Hollings MEP representatives and other industry stakeholders. A Roadmap Review meeting was attended by committed Consortium partners.

What are the meeting agendas?

At the Launch meeting, everyone involved in the project had an opportunity to meet each other and learn about program objectives, procedures and the schedule. A summary of distributed wind challenges and potential new research opportunities was presented. Consortium Subgroup meetings were held to identify specific goals, to understand the barriers and gaps of existing manufacturing approaches, to learn about lean manufacturing techniques that could apply to distributed wind turbines and to develop their elements of the Roadmap. At the Roadmap Review meeting, Consortium partners identified priorities for near-term,  mid-term and long-term actions that include a final shared-vision SMART Wind Roadmap. Detailed agendas for each meeting are shared on this site.

Expectations for participation:

1. What work will be performed between meetings?

The project technical team followed up with Consortium partners between  meetings to gather and organize information that is ultimately included in the final Roadmap. Virtual Consortium meetings were held following the initial face-to-face Subgroup meetings.

2. What is the level of commitment?

Consortium partners were asked to attend the Launch meeting and the face-to-face Subgroup meeting(s) of their choice, as well as attend virtual meetings that take place throughout the two-year project. Committed partners also had the opportunity to attend the Roadmap Review meeting.

3. What role do the Subgroups have in drafting and feeding into the Roadmap?

DWEA led collaborative discussions and development of the SMART Wind Roadmap divided into four Subgroups to allow for structured dialogue and deep technical and process brainstorming of new advanced manufacturing solutions. Actions were identified that are near-term or immediate, mid-term in 3-5 years, and long-term after 5 years.

4. What would the cost and obligation be if I commit to participate as a Consortium partner?

Your cost and obligation is your own time and travel expenses to attend meetings. DWEA member and non-member fees are shown on each event’s registration page. We also encourage Consortium partners to sign up as event sponsors to help offset costs and help stretch and extend our NIST grant dollars, but that is optional.

5. How can I participate if I am not involved in manufacturing-related research?

If you are involved in the distributed wind industry, you are likely able to provide a valuable perspective. Please indicate your interest on the SMART Wind Subgroup Sign Up Form.

6. What happens next?

The final deliverable for the NIST grant project is the SMART Wind Roadmap to be widely disseminated throughout the industry. The input gathered, prioritized and presented as a Roadmap will be used to pursue implementation funding; bringing ideas to reality and helping to strengthen and secure U.S. leadership and competitiveness in the global distributed wind industry. Active participation by Consortium partners is the key to the project’s success.

May I invite interested colleagues to participate or is participation limited?

Feel free to invite interested colleagues to learn more about the project here. Inclusion will be subject to review and project requirements, including the domestic content thresholds mentioned above.

What opportunities or benefits can I expect from my participation?

The SMART Wind Roadmap, the final project deliverable, will help federal project managers select future funding opportunities that help move the distributed wind industry, U.S. manufacturers, and stakeholders into a more globally competitive stance. Your involvement in this project will be made evident in disseminating this important, publicly-available Roadmap. Planning grants may lead to implementation funding as well as a recognition of those involved in this collaborative project.

How will this project avoid redundant efforts?

We have identified where complementary and synergistic work is underway and connect participants. For example, some of the advances identified in NIST-funded Power Electronics and Composites manufacturing  consortium projects may be applicable to the distributed wind industry. Linking with these projects will help make cross-project connections that will benefit several industries and U.S. manufacturing as a whole.

How can we get our company logo, up-to-date bio, and headshot(s) included on the listings of Consortium partners?

Please submit your logo/bio/headshot files to brife@distributedwind.org. If you have not filled out the subgroup form, please complete the form before uploading your files, in particular noting your city and state so we can pinpoint your location on the project map.

By emailing your logo and other files, you are approving DWEA and NIST AMTech to use them for SMART Wind materials. Inclusion will be subject to review and program requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Britton Rife.

 

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