DOE providing $10 million to fund marine energy research and testing program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced funding to establish a new testing program for marine energy technologies, called the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) Program.

This program will bring together capabilities from universities and the national laboratory system to provide marine energy developers ready access to unique, world-class testing facilities and expertise, DOE says.

Physical testing of devices and components is a critical step to validate device performance and computer models throughout the research and development process. Testing marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) devices is inherently more complex and time-consuming than testing other, land-based energy technologies, and facilities appropriate for testing wave and tidal power systems often have limited availability. 

U.S. TEAMER is designed to address and overcome these barriers by simplifying access and reducing costs of testing for MHK technology developers — ensuring access to the appropriate facilities at the appropriate time.

Through TEAMER, marine energy technology developers gain:

Access to testing infrastructure. Device developers get access to a wide range of pre-certified facilities at minimal cost, allowing for a faster and more streamlined integration of physical testing and validation into the design process.

Access to world-class expertise. TEAMER will pair technology companies with leading marine energy experts, providing assistance in the design and execution of tests and understanding the implication of results for future design iterations. 

Comparable testing protocols and data. TEAMER will establish consistent testing protocol as a condition for access to facilities, ensure tests are conducted accordingly, and create a repository of marine energy performance data that will serve the industry as a whole.

The TEAMER program launches with a $10 million funding opportunity announcement that will provide funds for disbursement to university and private members of the network and select the network director. The network director will provide independent validation and verification for the establishment and operations of the program, including establishment of the test facility network and development of TEAMER test protocols and technical processes, as well as making funding available on an as-needed basis.

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