Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Troy, N.Y. — Offshore wind is becoming a reality in the United States, especially in the northeast states. To support this development, the Center for Future Energy System (CFES) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will present a webinar titled “Turbine and Transmission System Technologies for Offshore Wind (OSW) Power Plants.” The program will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. Advance registration is required.

Power electronics expert Jian Sun will present the webinar. Sun, who was named director of CFES in 2011, has been working on wind energy at Rensselaer for more than a decade. The initial focus of his work was on power electronics converters and control for wind turbines. Sun noted that as the scale and penetration level of wind energy in the power grid increased rapidly in recent years, his research evolved into large wind farms and their interactions with the power grid. He has been involved in solving a number of resonance and instability problems in large-scale wind and high-voltage dc (HVDC) transmission systems in Europe and China. His current research sponsors include German Transmission System Operator (TSO) TenneT, China State Grid, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy.

Recently, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $18.5 million in new Department of Energy (DOE) funding for an offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium that will conduct U.S.-specific research aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S.

Sun noted that the webinar topic is timely given the recent announcement. The webinar will review the basics of wind turbine technologies and transmission considerations for offshore wind, and share experiences and lessons learned in Europe and China in the area of wind energy system stability and operational issues. The webinar will also discuss recent developments in wind turbine and system modeling, test requirements, and new grid codes aimed at preventing system integration problems for large wind power plants.

Sun is passionate about renewable energy. He says his vision is to develop a future energy system that is sustainable and resilient. “Renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy, plays a critical role in this future energy system, because it is the only source of energy that is truly sustainable on this planet.” With the new development of offshore wind in the United States, Sun sees an opportunity for a “home run” to support regional development with his research and international experiences.

As director of CFES, Sun is responsible for overseeing and developing the center’s research programs, as well as facilitating strategic growth and securing new industrial partnerships. The center, funded by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR), aims to connect the expertise of academic researchers with forward-thinking companies to develop and commercialize new, innovative energy technologies for a sustainable future energy supply system.

Sun’s research is an example of The New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer, the foundation of which is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great that they cannot be addressed by the most talented person working alone. The New Polytechnic enables collaborations between talented people across disciplines, sectors, and global regions, in order to address the complex problems of the world.

Registration Information

The Dec. 20 webinar is free of charge but advance registration is required. While the deadline for advance registration was COB on Wednesday, Dec. 13; individuals may still register until the site closes.

To register, visit:

Login information will be sent to those who register. For any questions or concerns regarding registration issues, contact Lisa McGill at (518) 276-6754 or via email at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to