April 9, 2021
The Canadian Wind Energy Research Network was successfully launched recently with a series of six webinars. The webinar series had 45 speakers from eight provinces across Canada.
The opening webinar featured an inspiring series of speakers, including two keynote addresses. The first keynote was given by Dr. Liuchen Chang, an electrical engineering professor from UNB and the former director of Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet), active from 2005 to 2014. In his presentation, Dr. Chang described the successes and the lessons learned from WESNet. The second keynote address was given by Phil McKay, Operations and Maintenance Program Director at the Canadian Renewable Energy Association. Mr. McKay gave the Research Network an industry perspective on wind energy research. Jennifer Hiscock, Deputy Director, Smart Grid & Renewable Energy Portfolio, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Office of Energy Research and Development, also spoke during the opening session, describing NRCan’s goals for the Research Network.
Subsequent webinars featured a variety of topics, including asset management, climate change, cold climate, forecasting, grid integration, and offshore wind. At the end of each webinar, network members had an opportunity to discuss research gaps for each topic from several perspectives. It is clear that increased access to field data will accelerate research opportunities in all areas of wind energy. However, it is important that researchers know what they are asking for and what they plan to do with it to lower the burden on operators. Another common theme is that interpretation of results could be enhanced with improvements in standards, for example, for levels of icing, blade erosion models, and end of useful life of turbine components.
The goal of this network is to create a forum for collaboration in wind energy research in Canada, as well as to accelerate the update and impact of research products. There will be a follow up meeting in a few weeks to talk about next steps with regards to collaborations, industry engagement, and funding opportunities.
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