New DOE opportunity to construct U.S. wave testing facility

The U.S. Department of Energy has officially issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement to support the full-scale testing of marine hydrokinetic wave energy devices, with the goal of establishing a U.S. wave testing facility.

DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Water Power Technologies Program “intends to fund one project that will design, permit, and construct an open-water, grid-connected, fully energetic national wave testing facility within U.S. Federal (territorial sea or contiguous zone) or state waters,” according to the FOA.

According to a previous announcement, up to $40 million in funding will be provided.

“It is expected that a viable wave test facility will be capable of testing up to full-scale (utility-scale) wave energy conversion (WEC) devices in order to develop reliable, low cost, renewable energy alternatives,” the FOA says. “Prototype testing is essential to advance existing wave technologies, validate performance against analytic models, demonstrate compliance with applicable design standards and thereby mitigate the technical and financial risk of developing and deploying mass-produced wave energy devices, plants, technologies and related products. Construction and operation of a full-scale domestic wave test facility will assist the U.S. industry by identifying design and manufacturing deficiencies early in the development cycle and validating modifications and improvements prior to commercial deployment. Ultimately, this new testing capability will improve the country’s competitiveness in MHK energy technology, encourage domestic manufacturing, create jobs, and provide a new technology that uses an untapped renewable resource to help achieve the nation’s energy goals.”

A webinar for this FOA is being held on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The letter of intent deadline is Aug. 29 and the full application submission deadline is Sept. 20.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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