The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced five winners in the CREATE stage of the Waves to Water Prize, a competition focused on using the power of waves to develop clean energy-powered desalination technologies to help provide potable water to communities in need.
“We will need a broad spectrum of technologies to tackle climate change and deliver the decarbonization goals set out by the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Through the Waves to Water Prize, we are equipping these entrepreneurs and innovators in marine energy with the resources they need to demonstrate these novel technologies that can increase community resiliency in the face of disaster recovery by producing clean water from the power of the ocean.”
Wave-powered desalination technologies hold the potential to deliver clean drinking water to communities in need — for example, in disaster recovery scenarios and for remote and coastal communities. Over three years, the Waves to Water Prize provides innovators a pathway from initial concept to field-testing their wave energy-powered desalination devices.
CREATE is the fourth of the five-stage Waves to Water Prize, with total funds of up to $3.3 million. Competitors in the CREATE stage had 180 days to build a functional prototype or proof of concept of their system. The winners, who will share a $500,000 prize pool, are:
- Ballast, Buoys, and Borrowing from Archimedes (Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.);
- DUO Wave-Powered Desalination System (Orono, Maine)
- MZSP Freshwater Production System (Woodbury, Ct.);
- Oneka Snowflake (Fort Pierce, Fla.);
- Wave-Actuated, Tethered, Emergency Response, Buoyant Reverse Osmosis System (Wake Forest, N.C.).
Winners will advance to the final stage of the prize, DRINK. In the DRINK stage, competitors will have up to 180 days to build and ship their wave-powered desalination prototypes to Jennette’s Pier in North Carolina, where the devices will undergo up to five days of testing in the open ocean.