December 21, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

PNNL Researchers Take NAWEA Conference by Storm

Thirteen PNNL wind experts participated in panels, workshops, poster competition, and more

Seven speakers and a moderator on a stage at a conference.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Division Director for Atmospheric, Climate, and Earth Sciences Larry Berg (third from right) served as a panelist for one of the conference’s plenary sessions.

(Photo: Justin Levett Photography)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) had a significant presence at October’s North American Wind Energy Academy (NAWEA)/WindTech 2023 Conference in Denver, Colorado. Thirteen PNNL wind experts participated in various capacities. 

Panels and posters 

PNNL Division Director for Atmospheric, Climate, and Earth Sciences Larry Berg was a panelist for one of the conference’s plenary sessions. “While the session’s topic was mid-term challenges, the discussion led us to more general topics, such as integrating local decision-makers and the public into wind projects, as well as wind turbine size and rate of growth,” Berg said.  

Six PNNL wind experts—Hayley Farr, Sha Feng, Raghu Krishnamurthy, Ye Liu, Lindsay Sheridan, and Sheng-Lun Taipresented posters. Farr’s poster on the topic of “Knowledge Hub Supporting Wind and Wildlife Impacts” was named runner-up for best poster. Her presentation focused on Tethys, a PNNL-managed online knowledge hub containing resources on the environmental effects of wind energy. “This is a significant accomplishment considering 2023 was the first year that environmental topics were included in this conference,” said Wind Energy Program Manager and Operational Systems Engineering Group Leader Alicia Mahon

Farr also participated in the conference’s Socio-Environmental Cross-Cutting Meeting to discuss interdisciplinary issues, potential solutions, and research pathways. 

Research and impact 

In addition to posters, Sheridan and Krishnamurthy presented PNNL research during conference sessions. Sheridan spoke on “Offshore Wind Resource Assessment and Model Validation off the Coast of Hawaii” during a session on modeling approaches and tools for floating offshore wind. Her presentation shared the first publicly available observation-based offshore wind resource assessment for Hawaii, which utilized data gathered by one of the lidar buoys PNNL manages on behalf of the Department of Energy. 

Krishnamurthy spoke on “Observations in Multiscale Modeling off the U.S. West Coast” during a session on coastal wind resource and wind wave coupling. His presentation covered PNNL’s observational and modeling analysis, which shows that high-surface wave conditions could pose challenges for floating wind farms off the California coast. He also spoke on “Observations of Momentum Flux Profiles Around a Wind Farm” in a session showcasing results from the American Wake Experiment, describing how PNNL’s analysis of Doppler lidar measurements has increased the industry’s understanding of turbine-atmosphere interactions.  

In a session focused on distributed wind, Sarah Barrows discussed “Advances in Distributed Wind Valuation.” Her talk covered PNNL’s work to facilitate consistent, transparent analysis and communication of distributed wind value to stakeholders. She explained how PNNL solutions, such as valuation frameworks and user-friendly tools, enable crucial conversations between decision-makers and improve the design of distributed wind systems to better meet community needs.  

Michael Kieburtz stands at a podium with a projection screen behind him at a conference.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Software Engineer Michael Kieburtz co-presented a workshop on “Leveraging Wind Data Hub to Enhance Data Analysis. (Photo by Chitra Sivaraman | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Chitra Sivaraman hosted a workshop conducted by Ken Burk and Michael Kieburtz on the topic of “Leveraging Wind Data Hub to Enhance Data Analysis.” Burk and Kieburtz demonstrated various capabilities of the Wind Data Hub to help other scientists save valuable time and effort in future data analysis.  

Other PNNL wind experts who participated in the conference were William Gustafson and Danielle Preziuso.  

Learn more about PNNL’s Wind Energy expertise and high-impact accomplishments.