The Energy Department on May 18 announced that $500,000 is available this year to test the technical readiness of technologies that can harness energy from waves to supply renewable power to highly-populated coastal regions. The funding will support one project to deploy and test a wave energy conversion device for one year at the Department of Navy's Wave Energy Test Site off of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. This funding will demonstrate and accelerate wave power technologies that could further develop the country's significant ocean energy resources.
These efforts complement an ongoing collaboration with the Navy, underscoring how increased cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Energy Department can further the nation's objectives toward renewable energy development. Through the funding opportunity, the Energy Department will provide technical support to test and evaluate the best wave energy options to provide power to DOD facilities. The Energy Department estimates that there are over 1,170 terawatt hours per year of electric generation available from wave energy off U.S. coasts, although not all of this resource potential can realistically be developed. The Navy has supported wave energy conversion research with the expectation that this technology can be used to assist DOD in reaching its agency goal of producing or procuring 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
The Energy Department expects to select a proposed wave energy device that is substantially complete and ready for testing and data collection without significant modification. The testing will include a comprehensive performance assessment—as well as a review of all pre- and post-deployment activities, operations and maintenance activities, and related analysis—to advance understanding of these innovative technologies and identify areas of performance improvement that will benefit this emerging industry as a whole. See the Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.
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