The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has unveiled a program that will provide up to $23 million for the research and evaluation of next-generation wave, tidal and current system technology.
The funding, announced by U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes at Waterpower Week in Washington, is intended to reduce capital costs and shorten the deployment timelines of marine energy devices.
“Marine energy is the newest frontier where we can unleash American innovation to produce more energy more affordably,” Menezes said. “Investing in early-stage research and development is critical to our America First energy and economic strategy to provide millions of Americans with domestic, clean and reliable energy.”
DOE’s funding opportunity covers three key topic areas, including:
- Early Stage Device Design Research — This area concentrates on the early-stage development and evaluation of next-generation wave, tidal and current systems. The focus will be on pre-commercial, scaled-prototype systems with high potential that can be proven through numerical simulations and testing validation. This will provide developers with information that can lower costs the reductions in design iterations, and optimized configurations and locations for their devices.
- Controls and Power Take-Off Design Integration and Testing — This area supports early-stage design of PTO and control systems. The design integration of PTOs and associated control systems is important for the marine sector as studies have shown improvements in advanced controls could provide large increases in energy capture. Projects are expected to build and test PTOs with an operational real-time control system in a laboratory and/or tank setting.
- Dissemination of Environmental Data and Analyses to Facilitate the Marine Energy Regulatory Process — This area supports efforts to more efficiently synthesize and communicate advances in the science and environmental impacts of marine development. Per DOE, this information needs to be made widely available in a consolidated, organized format to inform and facilitate federal and state regulatory processes.
“Research will address fundamental scientific and engineering challenges of generating power from dynamic, low-velocity and high-density waves and currents, while surviving in corrosive ocean environments that are intensified by high costs and lengthy permitting processes,” DOE said in a statement.
Additional details about the funding opportunity will be available in an upcoming webinar. For more information, visit DOE’s site here.