DOE Invests $10.5M in Marine Energy Systems

April 29, 2015 By Karen Henry

ocean wave energy manageThe US Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $10.5 million to support the design and operation of innovative marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) systems, which convert the energy of waves, tides, and river and ocean currents into electricity. Advances in MHK technologies will help these devices harness  more sustainable energy from the enormous potential of the nation’s oceans and rivers.

As part of its MHK technology research and development efforts, DOE will be selecting six projects for funding and will address the challenges that the ocean environment poses for MHK energy systems, which must operate in often harsh and unpredictable conditions for years.

The Next-Generation Marine Energy Systems — Durability and Survivability funding opportunity will focus on reducing the costs of MHK systems in the early stages of the development cycle — improving the likelihood of successful deployment in the future. By reducing uncertainty in MHK survivability, installation, operations and maintenance, this funding opportunity will enable the cost-effective development of robust MHK technologies.

The funding opportunity includes two areas of interest:

  1. Increasing survivability of wave energy converter systems, thus decreasing capital costs or extending their life spans. Projects will establish and validate survival conditions by testing model scale prototypes in a controlled laboratory environment.
  2. Reducing uncertainty around the installation, operations, and maintenance of wave and current energy converters, thus decreasing their overall costs and increasing their ability to function over time. Prototypes will be instrumented and monitored to identify sources as well as progression of failures that drive the cost of operations.

The concept paper submission deadline is Friday, May 29. Full applications are due Wednesday, July 1.

Last year, DOE announced $10 million in funding for two companies developing MHK energy technology.

Photo via Shutterstock

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