Florida — The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it was designating the Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) a nation center for ocean energy R&D and naming it the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC).
DOE will provide funding to the SNMREC to perform R&D on ocean current energy technology and ocean thermal energy technology, with a particular view towards placing systems in the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream, which is close to where the center is located.
The SNMREC will collaborate with industry partners to investigate, refine, fabricate and test promising next-generation waterpower technologies to harness the ocean’s energy potential.
Researchers at the center have begun this work by deploying ocean current observation systems, establishing research on environmental baselines to determine the level of potential effects and initiating the fabrication of support structures for ocean energy devices, according the announcement. The Center will ultimately perform full-scale field-testing of prototype devices.
Because it is a public institution, general outreach and education of the public at large about ocean renewable energy will also be a focus of the SNMREC as will developing curricula for the education of a workforce for this new industry.
The new SNMREC is the third national ocean energy research center – the others are located in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.