As part of the Energy Department’s (DOE) effort to drive clean energy innovation and boost American industrial competitiveness, the Manufacturing Innovation through Energy and Commerce (MITEC) pilot was enacted in Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia.

The program will provide small businesses access to the advanced tools, technology transfer expertise, and research capabilities of the DOE’s National Laboratories and the technical assistance and business development resources of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is a program within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

This interagency partnership broadens the commercial impact of DOE’s national labs and equips American entrepreneurs and businesses with the resources and support they need to develop new products, commercialize clean energy technologies, and expand into global markets.

“To advance American leadership in clean energy manufacturing, this new pilot program will help small- and medium-sized companies access th complementary technical capabilities and entrepreneurial resources of the DOE’s National Laboratories and the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers,” Danielson says. MITEC will use the Department of Commerce’s network of MEP Centers – which support technology transfer efforts, foster collaborations, and share best-practices – to connect small- and medium-sized companies with Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s (EERE) array of research and development programs to help manufacturers address technical barriers to commercial scale-up.

During the initial phase of the pilot, MEP Centers will encourage small businesses in the selected states that focus on sustainable energy, such as solar power and additive manufacturing, to apply for and create collaborative research, development, and deployment partnerships with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Hover Energy tests aerodynamics of new wind turbine technology

Group NIRE and Hover Energy, in association with Texas Tech University, tested a new wind turbine technology in real-world conditions for aerodynamic optimization.

The technology integrates aerodynamics, magnetic levitation, and magnetic power generation for a more efficient turbine.

Because the turbine allows for laminar air flow, initial installations will focus on commercial rooftops. The unit’s simplified design offers direct DC power generation, low- and high-wind velocity operations, and automated power generation at varying speeds. Hover plans to introduce a utility-scale wind turbine after introducing its rooftop model.

North Sea wellhead and valve maintenance services to continue

Simmons Edeco, supplier of wellhead and valve maintenance and onshore drilling services to the global oil and gas industry, has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by a major North Sea oil and gas operator.

Simmons Edeco will continue to provide wellhead and valve maintenance services for all of the operator’s assets in the North Sea, where it has been working on behalf of the company since 2003.

In addition to maintaining wellheads, Simmons Edeco will deliver onshore repair and refurbishment services, equipment management and supply, and customized engineering solutions. To ensure integrity of all production valves, the company will also continue to operate its ongoing program of valve integrity testing and maintenance.

Simmons Edeco flush and grease pumps have operating capacity of up to 15,000psi and the ability to carry out pressure tests in harsh environments.

Subsea offshore tidal array nears completion

The world’s first subsea offshore tidal array, known as the Paimpol-Bréhat Tidal Array near Paimpol, France, developed by the Enviormental Defense Fund (EDF), will soon be ready for operation. The second turbine to be deployed onto the seabed will join the first turbine already in place. Once completed, the Paimpol-Bréhat Tidal Array is expected to reach a total power capacity of 1MW.

The array uses a subsea converter system, supplied by GE Power Conversion, to control the turbine and convert the electricity from AC to high-voltage DC, minimizing the energy loss when the power is transmitted 16km back to shore. It is then converted back to AC by GE’s drive at the onshore facility before being delivered to the grid.

Although 1MW is a moderate amount of power, the project sets a precedent for future tidal plants, leading the way toward future arrays.