Hydropower

$5 M Boosts Ocean Energy Technology Research

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has been selected by the Florida Technology, Research and Scholarship Board to receive $5 million to establish The Florida Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology, which will be FAU’s second Center of Excellence.

Its first Center of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology was established in 2003. The Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology will address Florida’s energy crisis by looking at South Florida’s ocean currents, specifically the Gulf Stream (the most energy dense ocean current), as an abundant renewable energy source to meet not just Florida’s power needs but also the world’s power needs. Florida’s electricity consumption is estimated to increase by nearly 30 percent over the next 10 years. In-state energy production is less than one percent of consumption, leaving the state heavily reliant on imported sources of energy. Ocean-generated electricity would have a significant economic impact for Florida, creating more than 26,500 new Florida-based jobs, changing Florida from an energy importer to a leader in energy exports. “This funding will lead to the establishment of a world-class center that will revolutionize future energy production on our planet,” said Dr. Larry F. Lemanski, vice president for research at FAU and principal offeror of FAU’s new center of excellence. “We are very excited about developing these innovative, energy-producing technologies, and we have put together a strong partnership base composed of industrial, academic and government partners to accomplish our goals and mission for our new center of excellence.” FAU will work with the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Power & Light, Ocean Renewable Power, Lockheed Martin, Clipper Windpower, Oceaneering, Aquantis, the University of Central Florida, Nova Southeastern University and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in establishing the center. The Florida Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology will be housed at FAU’s SeaTech — Institute for Oceans & Systems Engineering in Dania Beach, Florida. The Institute is part of FAU’s Department of Ocean Engineering, located within the College of Engineering & Computer Science. The six universities selected to receive a center of excellence include the University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, University of Florida (two centers), University of Central Florida and Florida State University.